The storm system that built into Hurricane Earl as it hit the Central American country of Belize has mellowed into a tropical storm. But, NBC News reported it still damaged cars and forced hundreds to seek shelter.
Now known as Tropical Storm Earl, it was marked by heavy rainfall as it moved over northwestern Guatemala and on to southeastern Mexico Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said, but winds had weakened to 40 mph from 80 mph a day before.
"It was a whole lot scarier than I thought," Philip Gray, a church member from Birmingham, Alabama, who was staying in Belize City told Reuters. "The wind was very, very strong, we saw the air conditioners on the roof coming apart ... so very dangerous."
There were no reports of deaths from the hurricane, which made landfall in Belize at around 2 a.m., but the National Emergency Management Organization said there was "major infrastructure and building damage" and many roads were blocked.