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Hurricane Alex: 'Monterrey is beyond recognition'

Milenio monterrey alex

Above, the cover for Friday's edition of the daily Milenio in the city of Monterrey, showing the awesome force of the suddenly roaring Santa Catarina river as Hurricane Alex swept over the Monterrey metropolitan region Thursday, causing flooding and knocking out power to thousands. Alex, the first Atlantic hurricane of the season, left two people dead in the Monterrey area, but casualties blamed on the storm overall range from five to 28 in various reports.

From AccuWeather.com:

Through Facebook, AccuWeather.com friend Arturo Salinas reported that all the rivers and creeks in Monterrey had crested.

In a Facebook post, Salinas wrote "Monterrey is beyond recognition. Avenues and lanes of highways have dissapeared (sic) as same as bridges. Houses are been swallowed by unimaginable streams that flow through streets. People sought refuge at the ceiling of their houses due to the rise of water levels."

Conagua, a federal commission on water in Mexico, stated that Alex dropped more than 616 millimeters (24 inches) in less than 3 days. Gilbert saturated the region with a mere 280 millimeters (11 inches) in the same amount of time. Salinas said isolated regions were reporting as much as 850 millimeters of rain (34 inches) from Alex.

In efforts to protect the public from overflow, Conagua reportedly opened floodgates in La Boca and Cerro Prieto, Nuevo Leon.

Milenio has photo galleries of the damage left by the storm, with some images submitted by readers. Photos of the swollen Santa Catarina are here. Images captured during the hurricane are here. Twitter users submitted these photos. And here are photos of the aftermath.

Hurricane Alex was downgraded to a tropical storm then dissipated once it traveled deeper into Mexico's northern interior. President Felipe Calderon was traveling to Monterrey on Friday afternoon to survey the damage.

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City

Image credit: Newseum.org

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