Hurricane Patricia grounds California flights to and from Mexican resort city
Flights between California and a major Mexican tourist destination were canceled Friday as a monster hurricane crawled north through Central America.
A dozen flights between Puerto Vallarta and Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County and San Diego were canceled Friday due to Hurricane Patricia, a Category 5 storm that forecasters say is the strongest ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere.
Four of the flights were to or from Los Angeles, four were connected to Orange County, and the remaining four were to or from San Francisco or San Diego, according to Flightaware.com.
A total of 31 flights connected to Puerto Vallarta, in the state of Jalisco, were canceled. There was no indication if flights would be canceled over the weekend as well. By then, the storm could be on the Texas coast.
According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Patricia gained unprecedented strength overnight as it headed toward Puerto Vallarta, where its forecast to make land fall by Friday evening.
The storm’s sustaining winds are blasting at about 200 mph with gusts at nearly 250 mph, the National Weather Service said. In Mexico, a state of emergency was declared for several states, including Jalisco, Colima and Nayarit, the Associated Press reported.
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