The Latest: Hurricane Patricia fades to tropical depression

AP News
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Posted: Oct 24, 2015 10:57 AM
The Latest: Hurricane Patricia fades to tropical depression

PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico (AP) — The latest on Hurricane Patricia (all times local):

9:55 a.m.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Patricia has now degraded to tropical depression status over northern Mexico.

Patricia was once the strongest hurricane on record in the Western Hemisphere, but it has weakened rapidly since hitting land Friday evening.

By midmorning Saturday, the storm had sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph) and it was located about 95 miles (155 kilometers) northeast of Zacatecas.

Remnants of the storm are expected to help feed rains over southern Texas.

9:20 a.m.

Puerto Vallarta heaved a collective sigh of relief Saturday morning to find itself largely unscathed by Patricia.

People snapped selfies next to an iconic sculpture overlooking the sea and business owners swept sidewalks as they would on any morning. There were puddles downtown, but nothing more than a passing thunderstorm might leave.

Maximiliano Macedo of Puerto Vallarta strolled arm in arm with his wife down the waterfront unable to resist the curiosity of seeing things by the light of day.

In his words, "Fortunately, nothing happened here."

7:50 a.m.

Residents of the coast where Patricia came ashore last night describe an enraged sea crashing into hotels, scooping beach away from their foundations, and howling winds that toppled trees and telephone posts.

Domingo Hernandez is a watchman at the Hotel Barra de Navidad in the resort village of the same name. He says "waves were coming into the hotel," and adds that "All the streets here in town are full of downed trees all over the place."

He describes Patricia as the strongest storm he's seen in a quarter century of living on the coast.

Mexico's Tourism Secretary Enrique de la Madrid says major resorts like Puerto Vallarta had had "extraordinary luck" in avoiding damage from the once immensely powerful storm.

He says mountains around the city "served as a barrier."

7:15 a.m.

Patricia has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves across Mexico.

The storm's maximum sustained winds decreased Saturday morning to near 50 mph (80 kph) with rapid weakening expected to continue.

Patricia is centered about 35 miles (55 kilometers) northeast of Zacatecas, Mexico, and is moving toward the north-northeast at 21 mph (33 kph).

The storm made landfall Friday evening on Mexico's Pacific coast as a monstrous Category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 165 mph (270 kph).

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3:45 a.m.

Hurricane Patricia continues to weaken, dropping to a Category 1 storm as it crosses Mexico.

The storm's maximum sustained winds early Saturday had decreased to near 75 mph (120 kph) with rapid weakening expected to continue.

The storm made landfall Friday evening on Mexico's Pacific coast as a monstrous Category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 165 mph (270 kph).

Patricia is currently centered about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south-southwest of Zacatecas, Mexico, and is moving north-northeast near 21 mph (33 kph).

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1:15 a.m. Saturday

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Hurricane Patricia has weakened to a Category 2 storm, with sustained winds of 100 mph (155 kph).

The storm made landfall Friday evening on Mexico's Pacific coast as a monstrous Category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 165 mph (270 kph).

But it is rapidly losing steam as it moves over a mountainous region inland from the shore.

Early Saturday, its center was about 135 miles (215 kilometers) southwest of Zacatecas, Mexico.

Authorities say that so far there are reports of flooding and landslides, but no word of fatalities or major damage.