LOS CABOS, Mexico (AP) — The streets emptied and schools closed as Tropical Storm Lorena approached the resort-dotted tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula Friday.
The storm had maximum sustained winds near 40 mph (65 kph) with little change in strength expected until landfall late Friday or on Saturday. After that, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Lorena should weaken until dissipating on Sunday or Monday.
The port of La Paz was closed to small-craft navigation. Classes were cancelled in Cabo San Lucas and some schools were being prepared as shelters for possible evacuations. The rain had begun and waves broke hard at Medano Beach at the very tip of the peninsula, where workers hurried to store chairs, tables and kayaking and snorkeling equipment away from the beach.
Businesses closed and left sandbags to prevent any flooding. Hotels were still operating, but the staff was advising guests to avoid some beaches.
“They told us the beach is closed because the waves are very strong, and actually there are even police making sure no one goes in,” said Sam Kallman, who arrived in Los Cabos from San Diego with his wife on Wednesday. “We wanted to go walk around to see how bad it was. We are already wet but we hope tomorrow we can have access to the beach, because that’s why we came here.”
A tropical storm warning was in effect for southern Baja California from Agua Blanca to Buenavista.
The storm was centered about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and is moving northwest near 12 mph (19 kph) near midday on the Pacific.
Lorena’s winds were only a little stronger than those of a newly formed tropical depression that was drenching the other side of Mexico, on the Gulf coast.
That unnamed storm, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph), was centered over Tampico and was heading inland at midafternoon.