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Tropical Storm Barry approached very close to Mexico's Gulf Coast on Thursday as civil defense workers readied emergency shelters and forecasters warned heavy rains could trigger potentially deadly flash floods or mudslides, reported ABC News.
The second tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season packed sustained 45-mph (75-kph) winds that were already being felt as the storm pushed very close to the coast northwest of the port city of Veracruz, forecasters said.
In Miami, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm was about 30 miles (45 kilometers) northwest of Veracruz at 8 a.m. EDT Thursday and heading west at 3 mph (5 kph) toward expected landfall.
"It's very close to the coast," Hurricane Specialist Lixion Avila told The Associated Press, adding a small forward part of the system had begun brushing close to land while most of the vast system was still out over the Gulf of Mexico.
He said the ill-defined tropical storm would be making landfall sometime later Thursday morning, slowly coming ashore over the course of hours.