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Tropical Storm Lidia hits Mexican resort area with heavy rains

MEXICO CITY -- Tropical Storm Lidia lashed Mexico's resort-studded southern Baja California Peninsula with heavy rains, as about 1,400 people sought refuge at storm shelters in the Los Cabos resorts. 

Lidia spread rains over a broad swath of Mexico, including Mexico City, where it was blamed for flooding that briefly closed the city's airport. An enormous sinkhole about 30 feet in diameter opened on a street in downtown Mexico City because of an accumulation of water.

Civil Defense Commissioner Luis Felipe Puente said strong winds and rain were already lashing Los Cabos at midday Thursday. Authorities also warned residents to prepare for a possible dangerous storm surge.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Lidia could produce total accumulations of as much as 8 to 12 inches across much of Baja California Sur state and western Jalisco state on the mainland, threatening flash floods and landslides.

los cabos tropical storm lidia
Waves brought by Tropical Storm Lidia move toward the shore in Los Cabos, Mexico, on Thu., Aug. 31, 2017. Reuters

The storm was predicted to move northward about half way up the peninsula over the next two day before turning out into the Pacific.

Far out over the Atlantic, meanwhile, Hurricane Irma formed while following a course that could bring it near the eastern Caribbean Sea as a Category 4 storm by early next week. Its maximum sustained winds increased to near 115 mph earlier Thursday.

Forecasters said Irma was expected to be an extremely dangerous hurricane for the next several days.

No coastal watches or warnings were in effect.

In Texas, more than a dozen refineries across the Gulf are closed, including those operated by ConocoPhillips outside Houston and Exxon Mobile in Baytown -- the nation's second largest, CBS News transportation correspondent Kris Van Cleave reports. Usually it pumps out 560,000 barrels of oil a day.

Houston remembers those lost in Hurricane Harvey

Numerous people have died since Harvey made landfall nearly a week ago.

Rescuers began a block-by-block search of tens of thousands of Houston homes Thursday, pounding on doors and shouting as they looked for anyone -- alive or dead -- who might have been left behind in Harvey's fetid floodwaters, which have now damaged more than 87,000 homes and destroyed nearly 7,000 statewide.

Elsewhere, the loss of power at a flood-crippled chemical plant set off explosions and a fire, and the city of Beaumont, near the Texas-Louisiana line, lost its public water supply. The remnants of the storm pushed deeper inland, raising the risk of flooding as far north as Kentucky.