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Tropical Storm Grace Crosses Yucatan Peninsula; Henri Poised to Become Hurricane

Members of the National Guard remove tree branches from a street after Hurricane Grace made landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula, in Merida, Mexico, Aug. 19, 2021.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Tropical Storm Grace is back over open water after crossing Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and is likely to become a hurricane once again by late Friday, while in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Henri is likely to reach hurricane status Saturday.

In its latest advisory, the hurricane center says Grace is in the Gulf of Mexico about 425 kilometers east of Tuxpan, Mexico with maximum sustained winds of 110 km/h.

Forecasters expect the storm to continue strengthening in the warm waters and regain hurricane strength by the time it makes landfall later Friday.

The governor of the Yucatan state of Quintana Roo, Carlos Joaquín, told reporters that over 300 people were evacuated in the path of the storm, mainly from Carrillo Puerto and Tulum. He said the storm knocked out power in some areas of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Puerto Aventura, and Tulum.

Emergency crews worked early Friday to clear downed trees from roadways and video from the area shows buildings damaged and boats driven onto land by the storm.

Forecasters expect Grace to bring heavy rain to areas of Mexico Friday, with as much as 45 centimeters in isolated areas.

Meanwhile, in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Henri, at last report, was about 600 km off the coast of the southeastern U.S. state of North Carolina with maximum sustained winds of about 100 km/h.

While it is moving to the west-northwest, forecasters expect it will turn to the north Friday and move up the U.S. east coast.

The hurricane center expects Henri to gain strength as it accelerates north over the next 24 hours and reach hurricane strength by Saturday. The forecasters say Henri is expected to approach the coast of southern New England on Sunday. It is likely to create swells along much of the east coast of the U.S. and Canada through the next two to three days.

Some information in this report was provided by the Associated Press news service.