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Tropical Storm Henriette Strengthens Off Mexico's Pacific Coast

Mexican officials closed schools, shut down ports to small fishing boats, and battled flooding in this Pacific resort city as Tropical Storm Henriette dumped heavy rains and caused a minor landslide on a highway.

Henriette strengthened somewhat and was expected to become a hurricane by early Sunday, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. It was not expected to make landfall.

The Mexican government issued a hurricane watch Friday from the coastal resort of Manzanillo, in the state of Colima north of Acapulco, to Cabo Corrientes.

Click here to track Henriette.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for a long stretch of Mexico's Pacific coast from Acapulco to Cabo Corrientes. The storm warning was discontinued for areas south of Acapulco.

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900GMT), the center of the storm was about 130 miles south-southeast of Manzanillo and about 220 miles west of Acapulco, with maximum sustained winds near 50 mph, with higher gusts.

The storm was moving parallel to the coastline at about 12 mph, on a west-northwest path that would bring it close to western Baja California, the hurricane center said.

"Any deviation to the north of the track would bring stronger winds to the coast," it said in a statement.

Tropical storm-force winds extended up to 50 miles from the center.

About 4 inches of rain fell in Acapulco, where streets flooded and ports were closed to small boats. Waves up to 5 feet forced officials to shut down small fishing and ocean sports.

As much as 8 inches of rain are expected, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches, the hurricane center said.

A small landslide came down on the highway between Acapulco and the resort city of Zihuatanejo to the north, Federal Preventive Police officer Carlos Ramirez Zavala said. No injuries were reported.

Officials also closed more than 1,000 schools, according to Arturo de la Rosa Camacho, director of civil protection in Acapulco.

In the Caribbean, a tropical storm formed Saturday over the Windward Islands — the sixth named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900GMT), Tropical Storm Felix was centered about 30 miles northwest of Grenada, the hurricane center said. It had top sustained winds of 40 mph, just above the 39 mph threshold to be a named storm.

It was moving westward at about 18 mph, and was expected to pass near the Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao late Saturday or early Sunday, forecasters said. The governments of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba issued a tropical storm warning for the three islands.

A tropical storm watch was in effect for the northern coast of Venezuela, from Cumana to Pedernales, including the island of Margarita.