VERACRUZ, Mexico – Tropical Storm Ernesto made landfall Thursday near the port city of Coatzacoalcos and moved inland while drenching Mexico’s southern Gulf, an area prone to flooding.
Ernesto came ashore after spinning across the far southern Gulf of Mexico in waters dotted with oil rigs operated by the state oil company. The government closed its largest Gulf coast port, Veracruz, and the smaller ports of Alvarado and Coatzacoalcos.
Coatzacoalcos, a major oil port, already had gotten 7 inches of rain in the 24 hours before Ernesto’s center passed just a few miles away, according to Mexico’s weather service.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm’s sustained winds had declined to about 45 mph by early evening as it interacted with land.
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