Ingrid and Fernanda cause heavy rain and evacuations: AIR Worldwide

Tropical storm Ingrid made landfall in Mexico this morning, but had weakened from its category 1 hurricane status, according to AIR Worldwide.

The storm landed near the small town of La Pesky on Mexico’s eastern coast.

Ingrid’s intensity had decreased to about 65 mph, AIR said. The agency expects minimal impact from winds, but said the chief danger remains heavy rain and flooding.

AIR Worldwide senior principal scientist Tim Dogged said that the effects of Ingrid were compounded by tropical cyclone Manuel, which made landfall yesterday on the western coast of Mexico, opposite Ingrid.

He said: “This rare coincidence of two tropical cyclones making landfall so close together in both time and location has made for a precarious situation. The Mexican gulf coast where Ingrid made landfall is already saturated by heavy precipitation in recent weeks from tropical depression eight and tropical storm Fernanda. The one-two punch of Manuel and Ingrid already has caused widespread flooding, some flashfloods and mudslides, resulting in damage and loss of lives.”

According to AIR, the area where Ingrid has made landfall is relatively sparsely settled. Most insured residential structures in the region are made of confined masonry, which performs better than plain masonry under lateral wind loads because of its use of bond beams and columns.

Insured commercial properties are dominated by confined masonry and reinforced masonry construction. Both construction types should fare well against Ingrid’s wind speeds, which are expected to weaken considerably as the storm crosses land. The full extent and possible impact of flooding, flashfloods and mudslides, however, are uncertain.

According to reports, the heavy rains and flooding from the two tropical storms have meant the state of Veracruz – immediately south of Tamaulipas State, where Ingrid made landfall – has had to be evacuated of 6,000 people. According to the state’s civil protection authority, more than 1,000 homes in the state have been affected by the storm and 20 highways and 12 bridges have experienced damage.

Dogged added: “Ingrid is expected to produce 10 to 15 inches of rain over a large part of eastern Mexico – with as much as 25 inches possible in isolated areas. Over the next days, these rains are likely to result in life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. Also, a dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as two to four feet above normal tide levels along the immediate coast near and to the north of Ingrid’s landfall near La Pesky. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.”