Tropical Storm Karl is downgraded off Mexico’s Gulf coast

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Tropical Storm Karl was downgraded to a tropical storm late Friday as it drifted near an easily flooded stretch of Mexico’s southern Gulf coast.

Forecasters warned the danger of flooding remained in the swampy, low-lying region

Karl had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph) late Friday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. It was centered about 75 miles (125 kilometers) west-northwest of Ciudad del Carmen and headed south at 3 mph (6 kph).

The coastal cities of Coatzacoalcos and Paraiso lie near the storm’s expected path.

“The rains forecast could cause mudslides, rising levels in rivers and streams, and flooding in low-lying areas,” Mexico’s National Water Commission said in a statement.

The U.S. hurricane center said Karl could drop 2 to 5 inches (5 to 13 centimeters) of rain across portions of Veracruz and Tabasco as well as northern Chiapas and Oaxaca states through Sunday morning. It said as much as 8 inches (20 centimeters) could fall in isolated spots.

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