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Associated Press, Published September 14 2013

Hurricane Ingrid forms off Mexico

XALAPA, Mexico – Ingrid strengthened Saturday after becoming Mexico’s second hurricane of the Atlantic storm season, prompting the evacuation of several thousand people while an increasingly powerful Tropical Storm Manuel threatened to become a hurricane as well, dumping rains that could cause flash floods and mudslides as it nears landfall today.

On Saturday evening, Hurricane Ingrid was packing maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. The storm was centered about 185 miles east of Tampico, Mexico and moving north at 7 mph.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said that if Ingrid stays on the forecast track, it’s likely to reach the coast of Mexico on Monday. A hurricane warning was in effect from Cabo Rojo to La Pesca.

In Tamaulipas state to the north, where Ingrid is expected to make landfall, the government said in a statement that Independence Day festivities were canceled in the cities of Tampico, Madero and Altamira.

Officials in the Gulf state of Veracruz began evacuating coastal residents Friday night, and local civil protection authorities said that more than 5,300 people had been moved to safer ground. Of those, about 3,500 people were being housed in official shelters with the rest staying with family and friends. There were no immediate reports of injuries blamed on the storm.

More than 1,000 homes in Veracruz state have been affected by the storm to varying degrees, and 20 highways and 12 bridges have suffered damages, according to the state’s civil protection authority.

Off Mexico’s Pacific coast, Tropical Storm Manuel was also getting stronger, moving with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and expected to be nearing the southwestern coast of Mexico by this morning, possibly as a hurricane.