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Rain from Tropical Storm Odile began to fall in southern Arizona late Tuesday as large parts of the state braced for what meteorologists said could be historic flooding. Although Odile weakened from a hurricane and lost most of its wind power - it is still expected to dump more than four inches of rain on Tuscon and possibly Phoenix by Friday. With that weather now set in, the National Weather Service has also issued flash flood watches for parts of southeast California, southern Nevada, southern Utah, southwest Colorado and northern New Mexico. "Heavy storms have started now and there will be some pretty nasty floods for some people," said Matt Crowther, senior meteorologist at The Weather Channel.
While still a hurricane Odile slammed into Mexico's Baja California peninsula, damaging upscale resorts and fishing villages and stranding thousands of tourists. At 12:30 a.m. local time (3:30 a.m. ET) on Wednesday the storm was over the northern part of the Gulf of California and was expected to weaken to a tropical depression as it moved over land and into the U.S. Meteorologists also warned that in addition to dangerous flash floods, the storms could also trigger deadly rockslides and mudslides in mountain areas.
— M. Alex Johnson and Alexander Smith