Rick Weakens over Mexico, Downgraded to Tropical Depression

MIAMI, Oct. 21 (UPI) — Tropical Storm Rick weakened to a tropical depression Wednesday as it raced northeast across Mexico, the National Hurricane Center reported.

The eye of the storm made landfall at about 7 a.m. PDT near Mazatlan, storm trackers at the center in Miami said.

High winds brought down trees in the coastal resort and port of Mazatlan. The Mexican newspaper Cronica de Hoy reported about 27,000 families were without electricity and power was not expected to be restored until Thursday.

While Rick still had winds of 55 mph when it hit the coast, they had dropped to 35 mph at 2 p.m. PDT. The center of the depression was 150 miles northeast of Mazatlan and moving northeast at 20 mph.

A few days ago, Rick was one of the most powerful hurricanes ever reported in the eastern Pacific, a Category 5 storm with top winds of 180 mph. The storm weakened while it was still distant from land, although it disrupted shipping and forced cruise lines to change itineraries.

Forecasters said Rick would bring significant rain to northern Mexico and parts of Texas as it headed north.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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