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Norbert weakens to tropical depression

After making landfall over mainland Mexico, Norbert weakened Sunday from a hurricane to a tropical storm, weather officials said.
Image: Mexican Soldier Gustavo Rodriguez helps Laura Alvarado
Mexican soldier Gustavo Rodriguez helps Laura Alvarado and her son, Marvin, find shelter as Hurricane Norbert hits Puerto San Carlos, Mexico, on Saturday.Guillermo Arias / AP
/ Source: news services

Norbert dissipated into a tropical depression over the northern mountains of mainland Mexico on Sunday, after ripping off roofs, flooding streets, and forcing thousands to seek shelter in Baja California.

The storm's remnants dumped moderate rain in areas across West Texas on Sunday afternoon, but there were no immediate problems, according to officials with the National Weather Service in Texas.

Presidio County Attorney Rod Ponton said Texas officials were waiting for rain reports from Mexico to know if they should expect floodwaters later this week in Presidio, where an earthen levee is struggling to hold back the swollen Rio Grande.

Civil Protection officials in the Mexican border state of Chihuahua warned of possible freezing rain because of Norbert's remnants and a cold front.

Norbert hit mainland Mexico's Sonora coast early Sunday as a Category 1 hurricane with winds near 85 mph (140 kph) after crossing the Baja California peninsula on Saturday, said the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Sonora Civil Protection Director Willebado Alatriste said authorities were still evaluating the damages, but they did not appear to be widespread.

The storm weakened rapidly as it moved inland. But the hurricane center warned it could dump up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain over northwestern Mexico — possibly producing flash floods or mudslides — and up to 2 inches (5 centimeters) over the portions of the U.S. southern high plains.

Norbert barreled through Baja California as a Category 2 hurricane Saturday, uprooting trees, tearing roofs off of homes, and causing widespread flooding. Thousands of residents fled to shelters in school buses and army trucks as floodwaters rose in their homes.

Off the southwest coast of Mexico, Tropical Storm Odile also weakened into a depression. The storm had flooded about 200 homes in the Acapulco area.

The hurricane center said it would not issue additional advisories on Norbert and Odile.