Felix, Henriette slam into Central America

Residents ride bikes through a flooded street near a market in La Ceiba, eastern Honduras on Tuesday. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, ESTEBAN FELIX

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Residents ride bikes through a flooded street near a market in La Ceiba, eastern Honduras on Tuesday. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, ESTEBAN FELIX

By Paul Kiernan

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico – Felix walloped Central America’s remote Miskito coastline and Henriette slammed into resorts on the tip of Baja California as a record-setting hurricane season got even wilder Tuesday with twin storms making landfall on the same day.

While weakening rapidly, Felix’s rains posed a danger to inland villages lying in flood-prone mountain valleys and to urban shantytowns susceptible to mudslides.

Felix roared ashore before dawn as a Category 5 storm along Nicaragua’s remote northeast corner – an isolated, swampy jungle where people get around mainly by canoe. The 160 mph winds peeled roofs off shelters and a police station and knocked down electric poles. “The metal roofs are coming off like straight razors and flying against the trees and homes,” Lumberto Campbell, a local official in Puerto Cabezas, near Felix’s landfall, told Radio Ya shortly before his phone line went dead.

Emergency official Samuel Perez said most of the port’s buildings were damaged and the dock was destroyed, although there were no reports of deaths.

By late afternoon, Felix had weakened to a Category 1 storm with winds of 80 mph. But forecasters were still worried that the tempest would do great damage inland over Honduras and Guatemala. Up to 25 inches of rain was expected to drench the mountain capitals of Tegucigalpa and Guatemala City, where shantytowns cling precariously to hillsides.

Towns across Honduras were flooding, and residents waded through waist-deep, garbage-strewn water in La Ceiba.

In 1998, Hurricane Mitch parked over the same region for days, causing deadly flooding and mudslides that killed nearly 11,000 people.

Associated Press writers Freddy Cuevas, Filadelfo Aleman, Traci Carl, Jennifer Kay, and Arthur H. Rotstein contributed to this report.