Sep 13, 2013 2:35 PM
Heavy rains lashed Mexico's Gulf Coast Friday as Tropical Storm Ingrid formed over water about 60 miles away, threatening more damage in a state where landslides and flooding have killed dozens of people in recent weeks. At least three major rivers in the eastern state of Veracruz were flooding or close to overflowing their banks and hundreds of people were evacuating low-lying areas, officials said. A bridge collapsed near the northern city of Misantla, cutting off the area from the state capital. Thirteen people died when a landslide buried their homes in heavy rains spawned by Tropical Depression Fernand on Monday.
State officials imposed an orange alert, the highest possible, in parts of southern Veracruz. The storm's maximum sustained winds early Friday were near 45 mph (75 kph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. It was nearly stationary, entered about 40 miles (65 kilometers) east-northeast of the port city of Veracruz, but forecasters said it was likely to advance north and curve into the coast near Tampico during Mexico's long Independence Day weekend. A tropical storm warning was in effect for Mexico's coast from Coatzacoalcos to Cabo Rojo and the system and it was expected to dump 10 to 15 inches (25 to 40 centimeters) of rain over a large part of eastern Mexico with 25 inches (65 centimeters) in some places. A separate storm was heading for a collision with Mexico's other coast. The Hurricane Center said a tropical depression was likely to grow to tropical storm force and hit the mainland near the resort of Zihuatanejo late Saturday or early Sunday, bringing rainfall totals to the mountainous Pacific coast nearly as great as those on the Gulf. Meanwhile far out over the Atlantic, Humberto weakened to a tropical storm and did not threaten land. Gabrielle weakened to a tropical depression and remained well off the U.S. East Coast on a track toward Canada's Atlantic seaboard.