A Category 3 storm with 125 mph winds, Hurricane Emily blew into the Mexican state of Tamaulipas about 75 miles south of Brownsville early Wednesday morning, forcing residents along a wide swath of northeastern Mexico to seek higher, safer ground.
According to the Associated Press, the hurricane’s center, or eye, swept ashore near the town of San Fernando. Hurricane force winds extended outward 70 miles, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said. South Texas was hit with tropical storm-force winds and massive waves that battered beaches.
Some 18,000 people were evacuated from 20 low-lying, seaside communities, including nearly everyone from the tiny fishing village of Carbonera, the AP reported.
No evacuations were ordered in south Texas but around 4,000 people were thought to have spent Tuesday night in hurricane shelters throughout the area.
Storm surges of up to 10 feet along with high tide are expected to cause flooding along the Texas coast. Two to four inches of rain should fall in the lower Rio Grande Valley and a few isolated tornadoes are likely. An estimated 6 to 10 inches of rain is probable south of the border.
The landfall marks the second time Emily has created havoc Mexico. The hurricane came ashore early Monday north of Tulum on the Yucatan peninsula as a Category 4 storm with 135 mph winds.
Mexico and U.S. oil companies evacuated workers from offshore oil installations in the Gulf of Mexico as Emily moved northward toward the U.S.-Mexico border.
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