TAMPICO, Mexico (AP) — Tropical Storm Alberto is rumbling toward northeast Mexico as the first named storm of the season, carrying heavy rains that left three people dead but also brought hope to a region suffering under a prolonged, severe drought.

Mexican authorities downplayed the risk posed by Alberto and instead pinned their hopes on its ability to ease the parched region’s water needs.

Much of Mexico has been suffering under severe drought with northern Mexico especially hard hit.

But in nearby Nuevo Leon state, civil protection authorities reported three deaths linked to Alberto’s rains.