Hurricane Grace slammed into Mexico for a second time early Saturday as a major Category Three storm, threatening to bring significant flooding and mudslides, US forecasters said. The storm made landfall near Tecolutla in Veracruz state, clocking maximum sustained winds of 125 miles (200 kilometers) per hour, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC). Category Three is the third highest of five levels on the Saffir-Simpson scale. A hurricane warning was in effect for coastline stretching from Puerto Veracruz to Cabo Rojo. “Rapid weakening is expected as Grace moves inland over the mountains of central Mexico later today,” the NHC said. Nearly 8,000 civil defense members, soldiers and electricity board workers were ready to tackle the aftermath of the storm, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wrote on Twitter. He urged residents living in places considered to be at risk to “seek refuge in high places with relatives and in shelters.” Authorities in the state of Veracruz said they had prepared 200 storm shelters and planned to open another 2,000 if necessary. Veracruz Governor Cuitlahuac Garcia warned of the risk of flooding and mudslides as the storm dumped heavy rain on the mountainous region. Members of the Mexican armed forces were ready to deploy if needed to protect residents, said civil protection national coordinator Laura Velazquez. Authorities closed most highways in Veracruz, which is crossed by numerous rivers. In preparation for the storm, workers along the coast boarded up windows to protect stores, fishermen brought their boats ashore and residents secured their homes after stocking up on canned food and water.