Puerto Vallarta escapes hurricane’s fury; Patricia now a depression

PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico (AP) – Record-breaking Hurricane Patricia appeared to leave remarkably little damage as it moved rapidly inland over mountainous western Mexico early Saturday and rapidly weakened to a tropical depression.

PHOTOS: Hurricane Patricia

By midmorning Saturday, the storm had sustained winds of 35 mph and it was located about 95 miles northeast of Zacatecas.

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

Patricia, which peaked as the strongest hurricane on record in the Western Hemisphere, made landfall Friday on a sparsely populated stretch of Mexico’s Pacific coast as a Category 5 storm, avoiding direct hits on the resort city of Puerto Vallarta and major port city of Manzanillo.

But residents of another part of the coast where Patricia came ashore described an enraged sea that crashed into hotels, scooping beach away from their foundations, and howling winds that toppled trees and telephone posts.

Domingo Hernandez, a watchman at the Hotel Barra de Navidad in the resort village of the same name, said “waves were coming into the hotel.”

 

 

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