TODAY   |  September 20, 2013

Mexico battered by storms, at least 97 dead

Authorities in Mexico say this morning that the storms battering both of their coasts have caused the heaviest rains on record and have affected more than 1 million people, with at least 97 people dead. NBC’s Mark Potter reports.

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>> mexico where the heaviest rains on record left that country battered and in chaos. at least 97 people died and more than 1 million people are effected by the rain, the wind, and the flooding. mark potter is there with the latest. mark, good morning.

>> good morning to you, matt. in the last week mexico has been hit by a punch, three separate areas struck by a hurricane or tropical storm . tens of thousands of tourists have been stranded and many are still trying to get out.

>> reporter: flood waters are still raging in parts of mexico 's west coast and the devastation is getting worse. bridges are collapsing. roads are being cutoff and washed away and tens of thousands of people are stranded. for many, the situation is desperate. the airport in flooded and several hundred tourists are camping out there hoping to get out this morning. some have been waiting for days. among them, edgar and his family.

>> you have been waiting three days here at the airport.

>> yes, exactly.

>> how are you feeling?

>> tired. sad. and it's a hard week.

>> reporter: alice cooper and her family visiting from miami were still hoping to board one of the flights headed out last night.

>> we have been trying since saturday to get out of here but it has been almost impossible.

>> reporter: the mexican army is using military transports to fly tourists home and four private airlines are flying people out at no charge. rule towns like this one are buried as mud slides overwhelmed homes and roads. relief aid has been slow and coming and there's some reports of looting but the situation isn't dire for everyone. some hotels managed to escape the ravages of the storm and are giving away rooms and meals.

>> no problem. i am here. i have fantastic food. i'm happy. free everything.

>> but for so many here in the storm zone it is a much, much more desperate situation. mexican officials are trying to clear the road between mexico city and acapoco so more relief supplies can come in here.