Strong winds will continue to hit the area throughout the morning, the National Hurricane Center said.
Heavy rains, with isolated amounts of more than a foot, will bring a risk of flash floods and mudslides throughout the weekend, the center said.
Veracruz, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Hidalgo, northern Querétaro and eastern San Luis Potosí could experience significant sudden and urban flooding as well as mudslides throughout the weekend. Those areas can receive 6 to 12 inches of rain with isolated totals of up to 18 inches through Sunday, the hurricane center said.
On Friday evening, Mexico’s civil protection authority in Veracruz issued an emergency declaration for 22 municipalities ahead of Grace’s landing.
The declaration allows authorities to access resources to provide food, shelter and health care to the affected population.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said 7,829 elements of civil protection, personnel from the Ministry of Defense, the Navy and the Federal Electricity Commission were on standby.
“I join the call to ask the residents of Veracruz, Puebla, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas and Hidalgo to seek refuge in high places with relatives and in shelters that are being put in place,” López Obrador said.
By Saturday morning Grace should be well inland, rapidly weakening as she moves inland.
“The latest NHC intensity forecast indicates Grace will dissipate over Mexico in about 36 hours,” forecasters said.
This is the second time Grace has hit Mexico
The east coast of Yucatán, including Cancun, Cozumel, and Punta Herrero, had been under hurricane warning since Tuesday due to Grace’s improved organization as she moved west, hitting Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.
Earlier this week, Grace also passed through Haiti, which was recovering from a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that killed at least 1,941 people. About 1.2 million people, including 540,000 children, were affected by the earthquake, according to UNICEF.
CNN’s Karol Suarez, Gene Norman, Haley Brink, Michael Guy, Travis Caldwell and Judson Jones contributed to this report.
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