Franklin, the fifth tropical storm to form in the Atlantic so far this year, has intensified into the first hurricane of the season as it prepares to make landfall on Mexico’s Gulf Coast.
The storm, with winds of about 85 mph, was moving west at about 12 mph. It is expected to make landfall Wednesday night north of Veracruz.
The National Hurricane Center warned that it could trigger as much as 15 inches of rain in portions of eastern Mexico, causing “life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.”
While still a tropical storm early Tuesday, Franklin came ashore on the Yucatan Peninsula about 85 miles south of Cozumel. It skipped across the Yucatan, causing heavy rains and flooding on the peninsula’s west coast.
The Associated Press reports:
“Veracruz state authorities ordered all classes cancelled at public schools for Thursday as a precautionary measure. Schools are frequently used as storm shelters in Mexico.
“A hurricane warning was in effect for the coast from Veracruz city north to Cabo Rojo. A hurricane watch extended north from Cabo Rojo to Rio Panuco.”