Heavy rains and damaging winds have been battering Mexico’s Pacific coast over the last few days as Hurricane Norbert churns its way towards the northwest of Baja California.

Much of the peninsula was brought to a standstill by the storm. The general public was advised to stay off the roads and thousands of people were evacuated from their homes.

The storm peaked late Friday into Saturday with sustained winds reaching 195kph and gusts in excess of 210kph. As a Category 3 hurricane it would have been strong enough to cause extensive damage. Fortunately the storm stayed well offshore, but the system still toppled dozens trees and knocked out power across many districts.

Firefighters rescued several stranded motorists from their vehicles. Ports in the region remained closed to navigation and police officers were sent to evacuated areas to prevent looting.

The storm is now weakening rapidly and will soon be reduced to tropical storm status. Regardless of that it is still pushing plenty of warm moist air into the southwestern US.

Heavy rains are expected here, and as the remnants of the storm hit the drought-hit parts of southern California, Arizona and even Nevada, the much needed rain is likely to cause flash flooding.

Source: Al Jazeera