Dario Lopez-Mills  /  AP
A man tries to cross a flooded street of Mazatlan, Mexico, on Saturday, after Hurricane Lane slammed into a sparsely populated stretch of Mexico's Pacific coast.
updated 9/17/2006 11:11:57 AM ET 2006-09-17T15:11:57

Hurricane Lane weakened to a tropical depression Sunday after slamming into a sparsely populated stretch of Mexico’s Pacific coast, flooding streets and knocking out power in parts of the resort of Mazatlan.

The storm, which had been a Category 3 hurricane when it made landfall a day earlier, prompted the cancellation of flights and the traditional Independence Day parade in this resort and retirement community popular with Americans.

At 8 a.m. EDT, the storm was about 105 miles east of Los Mochis, moving north at 7 mph and was expected to weaken further as the its center moves farther inland, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said. It had maximum sustained winds of 30 mph — down from 125 mph on Saturday.

The hurricane center warned that up to 6 inches of additional rain could fall over western and central Mexico, causing possible flash floods and mudslides.

Earlier this week, rains from the storm lashed coastal towns to the south, causing a landslide that killed a 7-year-old boy in Acapulco and flooding across western Mexico that forced hundreds of people to abandon their homes.

Dozens of surfers paddled out Saturday to massive waves whipped up by the storm, and residents splashed in knee-deep water. People living in low-lying areas were evacuated and shelters were set up for the displaced.

“It was strong. It hit badly, but it could have been worse,” said Carlos Borcio, a 25-year-old tourist visiting from Culiacan who was watching the waves and drinking beer with two friends.

Jesus Martinez rode his bike to work through flooded streets.

“It’s better this way,” he said. “Normally, it’s really hot, and now it’s nice.”

Lane was the second hurricane to strike the region this month. Hurricane John earlier unleashed wind and rain on Cabo San Lucas, a remote enclave on the Baja California’s southern tip. It killed five people and damaged highways and homes in the area.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Miriam churned far off Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, the National Hurricane Center said. Forecasters said there was a slight chance it would turn toward land later in the week, hitting a sparsely populated section of the peninsula’s coastline.

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