SAN FERNANDO, Mexico – After coming ashore in northeastern Mexico (search) as a major hurricane, Emily weakened to tropical storm status Wednesday. Nonetheless, the storm continued to lash the country with high winds and heavy rains.
Emily triggered flooding outside Mexico's third largest city, after demolishing homes, toppling trees and sparking thousands of evacuations on the northern Gulf Coast. The storm moved inland with torrential downpours and stiff winds that washed out roads and highways and caused flooding in Monterrey.
Authorities canceled dozens of flights at the international airport and set up shelters.
According a bulletin issued by the National Hurricane Center (search) in Miami, Fla., as of Wednesday evening Emily still boasted winds of 50 mph, though the center forecast that the storm would likely weaken further to a tropical depression sometime early Thursday.
There were no reports of deaths or major injuries, but the wind peeled metal roofs off houses and flooded fields. Outside of town, three corrugated metal grain silos crumbled to the ground and lay next to another one destroyed when Hurricane Gilbert (search) tore through the area in 1988.
One of the hardest-hit areas was the fishing village of Carbonera, where many of those who had been evacuated returned to find their homes destroyed.
"The hurricane finished us," said Javier Hernandez Galvin (search), a 45-year-old fisherman who, because of a shortage of clothing, was barefoot, wearing only pink shorts and an old blue T-shirt.
Galvin's home survived the storm, but a shed where he stored his fishing equipment and boat had been reduced to scraps of wood.
Emily's landfall marked the second time in three days the storm hit Mexico. Emily was a Category 4 hurricane when it tore across the Yucatan Peninsula (search) with 135 mph winds on Monday. It hit Wednesday with 125 mph winds. South Texas was battered with tropical storm-force winds.
On the Yucatan Peninsula Monday, Emily ripped roofs off resort hotels and stranded thousands of tourists along the popular Mayan Riviera, which includes Cancun. By Wednesday, tourists were returning to the beaches.
The Associated Press and Alexander B. Duncan contributed to this report.