VERACRUZ, Mexico – Hurricane Lorenzo's pounding rains caused mudslides and floods that killed at least five people, slashed roads and drove tens of thousands from their homes in eastern Mexico.
Rivers that had swollen 6.4 meters (21 feet) above usual levels began to recede on Saturday, but officials said it might take weeks for all flooding to subside.
Lorenzo hit Mexico's Gulf coast on Friday and quickly faded into a potent rainstorm as it moved over the lush, ravine-cut mountains of east-central Mexico, dumping more than 32 centimeters (13 inches) of rain in some areas in less than a day.
In hard-hit parts of Veracruz state, winds ripped the roofs off some 2,000 homes and swept cars into streets where they remained covered with water on Saturday.
"My son and I left home with just two changes of clothes. We didn't have time to return for our other things, and the water came quickly and filled all the houses," said Laura Fernandez Rosas in the oil city of Poza Rica.
In the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Karen faded into a tropical depression Saturday with winds of 35 mph (55 kph) about 530 miles (850 kilometers) east of the Leeward Islands, and the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said it was likely to dissipate soon.
A new tropical storm, Melissa, also formed in the eastern Atlantic. It had winds of 40 mph (65 kph), but posed no immediate threat to land.
In Mexico's Puebla state, a hillside gave way in the village of Ixtaczoquitla, burying a 26-year-old woman and two girls, aged 3 and 5, who appeared to be her daughters, the state government reported.
A 9-year-old girl died in the village of Rancho Nuevo and a 19-year-old man was missing, washed away by a flooded river, the government reported, and about a dozen roads were severed by landslides or flooding.
In neighboring Veracruz state, an 83-year-old man died after falling into a hole in drenched soil near his home, local police said.
Veracruz's chief civil defense official, Ranulfo Marquez, said Saturday that the Cazones River that cuts through Poza Rica was only 4 meters (13 feet) above normal levels — down more than 2 meters (6 1/2 feet) from the night before. He said it could take weeks for all flooding to subside.
Marquez said hundreds of homes had been flooded, 2,000 roofs blown off and 30,000 people forced from their homes in his state. Thousands were also evacuated in Puebla state.