Tropical Storm Alberto is responsible for several deaths as it moves inland from Mexico.

Tropical Storm Alberto was moving inland from Mexico on Thursday, bringing heavy rains that killed at least three people but also gave hope to a region suffering from a severe and prolonged drought. It’s the first named storm of the season.

The storm is expected to weaken rapidly over land as it moves west and dissipate later today or Thursday evening, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Alberto’s rain fell on both sides of the border, extending across much of the southern Texas coast and south to the Mexican state of Veracruz. Rainfall and gusty winds were beginning to ease over coastal Texas, but were expected to continue through the morning in northeastern Mexico, the hurricane center said.

As of 8 a.m. EDT, the center of Alberto was moving westward at about 13 miles per hour, with maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour. Wind speeds have decreased since the last update from the hurricane center.

Rainfall from Alberto is expected to begin to decrease in South Texas during the day, with an inch or less expected, the center said, although there could be “a tornado or two in parts of the Deep South of Texas.

Heavy rain is expected to continue in northeastern Mexico throughout the morning, with an additional 5 to 10 inches expected. Maximum totals of around 20 inches are possible over the highest terrain in the Mexican states of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas.

This “will likely produce significant flash and urban flooding as well as new river flooding. Landslides are also possible in areas of higher terrain in northeastern Mexico,” the center added.

Mexican authorities downplayed the risk posed by Alberto and instead pinned their hopes on his ability to meet the dried-up region’s water needs.

“The (wind) speeds are not of a nature to consider this a risk,” Tamaulipas State Hydrological Resources Secretary Raúl Quiroga Álvarez said at a press conference Wednesday evening. Instead, he suggested people greet Alberto with joy. “This is what we (hope) for eight years throughout Tamaulipas.”

Much of Mexico suffers from severe droughts, with northern Mexico particularly affected. Quiroga noted that the state’s reservoirs were low and that Mexico owed a huge water debt to the United States under their shared use of the Rio Grande.

“It’s a win-win event for Tamaulipas,” he said.

But in the neighboring state of Nuevo Leon, civil protection authorities reported three deaths linked to Alberto’s rains. They said a man died in the La Silla River in the city of Monterrey, the state capital, and two miners died from electric shocks in the municipality of Allende. Local media reported that the miners were cycling in the rain.

Governor of New León. Samuel García wrote on his account on the social media platform

Mexicans expressed hope that Alberto would bring rain.

Tampico resident Blanca Coronel Moral ventured to the town’s waterfront on Wednesday to await Alberto’s arrival.

“We need this water that we are getting now, thank God, hopefully we will only get water,” Coronel Moral said. “Our lagoon, which provides us with drinking water, is completely dried up.”

Authorities have closed schools for the rest of the week in Tamaulipas due to the risk of localized flooding.

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