Hurricane Newton Hits Mexico With Threat of Flash Floods

Updated on
  • Life-threatening flash floods, mud slides may be imminent
  • Top winds at 90 miles an hour, seen weakening gradually

Hurricane Newton is raking the popular resort of Cabo San Lucas with high winds and heavy rains as it drifts across the Mexico state of Baja California Sur, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Newton was about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Cabo San Lucas with top winds of 90 miles per hour, the Miami-based center said in an 8 a.m. New York time advisory. While it may weaken, Newton is forecast to reach the mainland as a hurricane on Wednesday.

Associated rainfall of as much as 18 inches could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides, especially in the areas of mountainous terrain. An advisory from the Mexican national weather service said the storm could be accompanied by hail, dust tornadoes and eddies, and warned against the risk of electric shock.

“A dangerous storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding near and to the east of where the center makes landfall on both the southern Baja California peninsula and mainland Mexico,” according to the update. “Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.”

Preparations to protect life and property should have been completed by now, NHC said. Baja California has seven ports, according to information compiled by Bloomberg. There’s also an operational liquefied natural gas terminal that’s outside the range of the hurricane’s trajectory.

Countries including the U.K. and Canada warned against travel to Mexico amid dangerous weather. At least 38 people died in mudslides and floods caused by Tropical Storm Earl last month, the U.K. warning said.

Newton is the second hurricane within a week to strike North America. Hermine became the first hurricane to hit Florida since 2005 on Friday. It damaged crops and property before weakening and moving up the U.S. East Coast.