Tropical Storm Cristobal blew ashore and weakened, but will brush by closer to the Yucatan Peninsula as early as Thursday.
Cristobal made landfall in Campeche, dumping heavy rain on the already soaked region, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. The Army evacuated 138 people after floodwaters threatened homes, and police in Campeche reported water washing across highways, the Associated Press reported.
Yucatan already endured flooding and property damage throughout the Peninsula. Wednesday saw a pause in heavy rains and winds, but that could change.
The storm’s sustained winds weakened to 50 mph / 85 kph after it moved inland, where it was expected to become a tropical depression by Thursday, before heading back into the Gulf of Mexico on Friday, where it could gather strength again.
Forecasters expected Cristobal to meander along the coast Wednesday and Thursday, causing severe flooding. By Sunday, it could cross the Gulf and hit Louisiana.
The hurricane center said the storm made landfall Wednesday morning near Atasta, just west of the major oil production town of Ciudad del Carmen. Late in the afternoon, the storm was moving southeast at about 3 mph / 96 kph, and was centered about 20 miles / 35 km south of Ciudad del Carmen.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was in Campeche’s capital Wednesday as part of his weeklong tour promoting the Mayan Train. He was about 145 miles / 235 kilometers from where the storm made landfall.
At least 22 deaths in El Salvador and Guatemala were blamed on the storm.