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Hurricane Blanca roars toward the Baja California Peninsula, as businesses board over windows

  • Workers board over store front windows in preparation for Hurricane Blanca, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Sunday June 7, 2015. The unpredictable storm strengthened rapidly to a Category 4 storm on Saturday, but the U.S. National Hurricane Center says it has since weakened to Category 1 with top winds near 90 mph. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

    Workers board over store front windows in preparation for Hurricane Blanca, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Sunday June 7, 2015. The unpredictable storm strengthened rapidly to a Category 4 storm on Saturday, but the U.S. National Hurricane Center says it has since weakened to Category 1 with top winds near 90 mph. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)  (The Associated Press)

  • People salvage some of their belongings after rising seas overnight from Hurricane Blanca, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Sunday June 7, 2015. The unpredictable storm strengthened rapidly to a Category 4 storm on Saturday, but the U.S. National Hurricane Center says it has since weakened to Category 1 with top winds near 90 mph. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

    People salvage some of their belongings after rising seas overnight from Hurricane Blanca, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Sunday June 7, 2015. The unpredictable storm strengthened rapidly to a Category 4 storm on Saturday, but the U.S. National Hurricane Center says it has since weakened to Category 1 with top winds near 90 mph. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man takes a selfie at El Medano Beach before the arrival of Hurricane Blanca, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Sunday June 7, 2015. The unpredictable storm strengthened rapidly to a Category 4 storm on Saturday, but the U.S. National Hurricane Center says it has since weakened to Category 1 with top winds near 90 mph. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

    A man takes a selfie at El Medano Beach before the arrival of Hurricane Blanca, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Sunday June 7, 2015. The unpredictable storm strengthened rapidly to a Category 4 storm on Saturday, but the U.S. National Hurricane Center says it has since weakened to Category 1 with top winds near 90 mph. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)  (The Associated Press)

A powerful Hurricane Blanca roared toward Mexico's Baja California Peninsula on Sunday, as authorities put thousands of troops on alert and businesses boarded over windows ahead of its arrival.

The unpredictable storm strengthened rapidly to a Category 4 storm on Saturday before weakening to Category 3, and forecasters said it should weaken to a Category 1 hurricane on Sunday as it nears Mexico's coast.

It is expected to make landfall on Baja California's southwestern coastline Monday as a tropical storm. But the director of Mexico's National Water Commission, Roberto Ramirez, said he was concerned about Blanca's "erratic" behavior and warned residents along the coast to be prepared for intense rains.

In Baja California, 2,000 army troops and 1,321 marines have been put on alert, as well as emergency responders and power line technicians, said Civil Protection director Luis Felipe Puente.

He said there is currently a 70 percent hotel occupancy rate in Los Cabos and warned tourists to be attentive to any advisories issued by authorities

Some businesses and banks were seen hammering boards over their windows in preparation for Blanca's arrival. People began forming lineups at gas stations to stock up on fuel.

Blanca's maximum sustained winds on Saturday night were near 120 mph (195 kph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. The hurricane is centered about 255 miles (415 kilometers) south of Cabo San Lucas and is moving northwest near 10 mph (17 kph).

A hurricane watch is in effect for an area from Cabo San Lucas to Santa Fe. A tropical storm warning is in effect from Loreto to Puerto San Andresito, including Cabo San Lucas.

Puente said he saw no reason to suspend local elections scheduled to be held on Sunday.