Hurricane Kay hits sea, but hits Mexican peninsula Baja

MEXICO CITY – Hurricane Kay hit Mexico’s Baja California peninsula with wind and rain as authorities opened shelters and closed some roads.

Kay had maximum sustained winds of 90 mph (150 kph) in late Wednesday, with forecasters saying it could bring hurricane-force winds to parts of the peninsula from Thursday and potentially engulf downtown Baja on Friday.

Forecasters said there was a chance the big storm’s outer bands could bring heavy rain — and possibly flash flooding — to parts of scorched Southern California and southwestern Arizona Friday night and Saturday.

Forecasters expected Kay to stay offshore as it moved more north, roughly parallel to the coast. It was a sprawling storm, with tropical gale winds extending as far as 230 miles (370 kilometers) from the center.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Kay was about 200 miles (320 kilometers) west of the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula at the end of Wednesday. Kay was moving north-northwest at 14 mph (22 kph).

A hurricane warning was issued for a sparsely populated part of the peninsula around Bahia Asuncion and the state government of Baja California Sur announced it would open shelters for people who need to evacuate. It said some creeks were already rising and some roads were closing.

Heavy rain fell on Los Cabos at the southern tip of the peninsula. Mayor Oscar Leggs Castro said there were already more than 800 people in shelters in the destinations of the two resorts.

Long lines of cars were waiting to fill up at gas stations. Non-essential businesses were closed and some airlines canceled flights.

Landslides reportedly cut some roads on the peninsula, but there were no reports of injuries.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Earl swept through open waters in the Atlantic and was set to pass just southeast of Bermuda on Thursday night as a Category 3 storm.

The island’s Secretary of National Security, Michael Weeks, told reporters that public services and government offices would continue to operate, but warned residents to brace for tropical storm conditions.

“Bermuda will definitely feel the effects of Earl, so we have to be wary of complacency,” he said.

Earl was centered about 355 miles (570 kilometers) south of Bermuda by late Wednesday. Maximum sustained winds had increased to 100 mph (155 kph) and it was moving north at 9 mph (15 kph).

Further east, Hurricane Danielle slowly weakened far above open water some 605 miles (975 kilometers) northwest of the Azores. It had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph).