Nora weakens, but heavy rains threaten U.S.
September 25, 1997
Web posted at: 5:21 p.m. EDT (1721 GMT)
SAN QUINTIN, Mexico (CNN) -- Hurricane Nora was downgraded to
a tropical storm Thursday hours after it swept ashore,
pounding Baja California, Mexico, with high winds and heavy
rain. The storm then churned toward the southwestern United
States, where residents braced for possible flooding.
Nora hit land with winds up to 80 mph (128 kph) early
Thursday morning near Punta Eugenia, about midway down the
Baja peninsula. Sea swells up to 12 feet high slammed the
coast at Bahia Tortugas, a village on Punta Eugenia.
Its winds were later clocked at 70 mph (112 kph), making it a
tropical storm instead of a hurricane. A hurricane has winds
greater than 74 mph (118 kph).
|Time||2 p.m. PDT/5 p.m. EDT |
|Location||near Yuma, Arizona|
|Lat./Lon.||32.7 N latitude, 114.8 W longitude|
|Max. Winds||near 45 mph (75 kph)|
|Speed||North near 26 mph (43 kph)|
|Current radar image Current satellite image|
The storm was expected to move north up the Gulf of
California, further weakening as it approached southern
Arizona. Meteorologists said Nora would still be a tropical
storm when it entered the United States -- a rarity for the
Meteorologists warned of flash flooding, saying cascading
rains could cause homes, roads and bridges to be wiped out.
Rain was forecast from the Southern California coast, north
into Nevada and possibly southern Utah, and as far east as
western Colorado and western New Mexico.
"The biggest threat of course is flash flooding. This is a
very wet storm. It's going to drop a lot of rain," said Josh
McDowell of the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
In Seal Beach, California, storm-surge waves crashed onto the
beachfront just south of Long Beach Thursday morning,
dumping water into about 20 homes. Some residents
were seen canoeing along flooded city streets.
In Yuma, Arizona, forecasters predicted up to 8 inches (20
cm) of rain, double the area's average annual rainfall.
Arizona Gov. Jane Hull sent National Guard trucks, generators
and trailers carrying portable water to
Yuma. The Red Cross sent a disaster team.
Crews worked to fill sandbags Thursday as residents of the
city of 64,000 prepared for heavy rains. Officials also
warned against traveling in the rain.
"Never, ever under any circumstances drive into an areas of
the road you can not see," said Mike Walsh of the Tucson/Pima
County Office of Emergency Management.