Hurricane Franklin makes landfall on Mexico’s coast

Fishermen move their boats, normally moored in the Gulf of Mexico, onto a coastal road to protect them ahead of the arrival of Tropical Storm Franklin, in the port city of Veracruz, Mexico, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. A strengthening Tropical Storm Franklin took aim at Mexico's central Gulf coast after a relatively mild run across the Yucatan Peninsula, with forecasts saying it would grow into a hurricane before making its second landfall late Wednesday or early Thursday. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Hurricane Franklin roared ashore on Mexico’s central Gulf coast early Thursday, threatening to pound a mountainous region prone to flash floods and mudslides with torrential rains and heavy winds.

Franklin strengthened into the first hurricane of the Atlantic season on Wednesday and its landfall as Category 1 storm early Thursday was its second on Mexican territory in three days. As a tropical storm, Franklin made a relatively mild run across the Yucatan Peninsula earlier in the week.

Authorities in Veracruz ordered classes canceled at public schools as a precautionary measure. Schools are frequently used as storm shelters in Mexico.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Franklin later weakened to a tropical storm Thursday morning with maximum sustained winds near 70 mph (113 kph). Additional weakening was forecast and Franklin was expected to dissipate by late Thursday or early Friday.

Franklin’s center was about 75 miles (121 kilometers) south of Tuxpan, Mexico, and the storm was moving a little south of west near 15 mph (24 kph).

Mexico Civil Defense director Ricardo de la Cruz said Tuesday that the storm’s impact on Yucatan was not as bad as initially feared, with some trees down and power out in some areas. But, he warned, “the second impact could even be stronger than the first.”

Forecasters said Franklin could drop four to eight inches (10 to 20 centimeters) of rain, with localized amounts of up to 15 inches (38 centimeters).

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