- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 6, 2007

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico (AP)— Hurricane Henriette threatened Mexico’s mainland yesterday as it stayed on track for the southwestern United States, while the weakening remnants of Hurricane Felix dumped heavy rain in Central America, causing flooding, landslides and at least nine deaths.

Henriette, which killed at least seven persons in its run along Mexico’s coast, struck Los Cabos at the tip of the Baja California Peninsula on Tuesday.

It remained dangerous as it moved over open water on a track to hit the Mexican mainland later yesterday with sustained winds of 75 mph, about 300 miles south of the Arizona border.

Henriette had top sustained winds of 75 mph as it whipped the Mexican mainland between Los Mochis and Guaymas, a swampy coastal zone of farming and fishing towns that also includes San Carlos, a community of American retirees.

Yesterday afternoon, Henriette was centered about 20 miles southwest of Huatabampo — some 300 miles south of the Arizona border — and it was moving north at 12 mph. The National Hurricane Center said it could bring as much as a foot of rain in isolated areas and cause flash flooding.

It was expected to weaken over Mexico’s deserts and dump an inch or 2 of rain on southwest New Mexico today or tomorrow.

Felix killed at least nine persons, left 11 missing and destroyed about 5,000 homes when it slammed into Nicaragua’s remote Miskito Coast on Tuesday as a powerful Category 5 hurricane with 160 mph winds. It pushed inland, bringing heavy rain.

The dead included a man who drowned when his boat capsized, a woman killed when a tree fell on her house, and a girl who died shortly after being born because the storm prevented her from getting medical attention. Nearly every building in the region was damaged or destroyed.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega declared the coastal region to be a disaster area and planned to visit later yesterday. The military was airlifting sheets, mattresses, food, first aid and other help to Puerto Cabezas. Some 15,800 of the area’s 60,000 residents remained in 76 makeshift shelters.

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