More Storms Predicted as Ernesto Strengthens

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Tropical Storm Ernesto gained strength Thursday while moving just off of Mexico's southern gulf.

The storm is over open water, but hovering close to the coast. Because of that, officials are worried about flooding.

With six named storms already, forecasters also raised their predictions for the rest of the Atlantic hurricane season.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said between 12 and 17 tropical systems could now be expected.

Earlier, between nine and 15 named storms were predicted for the season.

Ernesto reached hurricane strength but was downgraded to a tropical storm after traveling across Mexico Wednesday.

The storm forced thousands of tourists and fishermen to evacuate beaches along the Mexican coast.

There are currently no reports of deaths or major damage. However, Ernesto did topple trees, shatter windows, and lead to a loss of electricity.

Olivia Cuellar and her three small children took shelter overnight in a Chetumal high school.

"It was frightening, the winds were very strong all night," the 37-year-old mom told Reuters. "I imagine [my house] is damaged, we do not have very good houses here."

The storm is continuing to dump rain on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Gilma is forming in the Pacific Ocean, just 620 miles west of Mexico. Gilma is not expected to threaten land.

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