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Tropical Storm Gabrielle grew to near-hurricane strength Friday as it crept slowly over the Gulf of Mexico toward Mexico's eastern coast, while Hurricane Flossie veered past Baja California to the west.

Still far out in the Atlantic, Hurricane Felix was moving westward but was expected to miss the Caribbean. Forecasters said its potential threat to land further north was not clear.Gabrielle had sustained winds of 70 mph - 4 mph short of hurricane force - and was drifting slowly westward, 20 miles off a sparsely populated area of the Mexican coast, according to the U.S. National Weather Service in Miami.

Local officials evacuated people from low-lying areas, and a storm warning was in effect from the Texas-Mexico border to the town of Tuxpan, 360 miles to the south.

The National Weather Service said the storm should move inland by night, bringing 5 to 10 inches of rain over northwestern Mexico and less over southern Texas, with possible flash floods or mudslides.

Hurricane Flossie, with sustained winds of 75 mph, slid past the tip of the Baja California peninsula overnight, passing about 80 miles west of Cabo San Lucas, which saw high winds and rain. About 1,000 people were evacuated overnight as a precaution.