CANCUN, Mexico -- Residents and tourists in Mexico's Quintana Roo state were relieved on Saturday that tropical storm Marco changed its trajectory and appeared to spare the local beaches, a top tourist destination.
Tropical storm Marco, which swirled over the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, is however predicted to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast as a hurricane later this week.
Meanwhile, tropical storm Laura knocked utilities out as it battered Hispaniola, following a track forecast to take it to the same part of the U.S. coast, also as a hurricane.
"I've been told that the storm could potentially pass by today so hopefully tomorrow it'll get back to normal," said Liam, an English tourist.
It would be the first time two hurricanes appear in the Gulf of Mexico simultaneously, according to records dating to at least 1900, said Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.
The last time two storms made landfall in the United States within 24 hours of each other was in 1933, he said.
Marco was strengthening as it entered the Gulf of Mexico.
"We are not able to do more activities that we want to do, like skiing or go dolphin watching," said Ana Yantzin Herrera, a Cuban tourist residing in Houston.
Late Saturday, it was centered about 50 miles (85 kilometers) west of Cuba's western tip, headed to the north-northwest at 13 mph (20 kph).
It had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (100 kph) and was expected to become a hurricane soon.
The hurricane center said the storms were not expected to interact as the region faces an unusually active hurricane season.