No deaths or injuries have been reported in the rains, which began early Friday and abated only on Sunday, dumping in 50 hours as much rain as is usually seen in the northeastern Brazilian city during the entire month of June. READ MORE ON FIFA WORLD CUP (JPN/Agencies)
With more rains forecast for the next five days, some people worried that the weather could affect the US-Ghana match on Monday afternoon.
Natal's City Hall declared a flood alert on Saturday and evacuated dozens of residents as a precaution in the Mae Luiza neighborhood in the city's west.
News reports showed images of residents wading through knee-deep waters as others pushed cars submerged up to the door handles. Additional reports showed a huge crater cutting across a street in a residential neighborhood.
Floods can often be deadly in Brazil, where intense rains, chaotic urban planning and garbage-filled drainage pipes sometimes result in landslides that bury entire neighborhoods.
Poor neighborhoods, often built up steep hillsides, tend to be hit worst by such flooding. The southern Brazilian regions of Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul have also been hit by recent floods.
Ghana skipper wary of vengeful Americans
Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan is wary of vengeful Americans but confident the young Blacks Stars team have enough talent to open their third World Cup campaign with a victory on Monday.
Gyan scored the winner in extra time when Ghana sent the United States tumbling out of the World Cup for the second successive tournament in South Africa four years ago.
"It's going to make the game more difficult," said Gyan.
"They are coming for revenge. Mentally, they don't want to lose to us for the third time. It's going to make it very interesting and difficult for us. But we're ready to go out and give our all on Monday," he said.
Gyan also missed the penalty awarded against Uruguay for Luis Suarez's infamous goalline handball in Johannesburg that would have made Ghana the first African side to reach the last four at a World Cup.
That they lost the subsequent penalty shootout has not reduced the expectation in Ghana that the Black Stars can go one better in Brazil.
"Back home expectation is high. In 2006 we got through the group stage and in 2010 we got to the quarter-finals," Gyan said.
"Now the people back home believe we can do more. That's pressure but sometimes pressure is a good thing. We believe in ourselves, we are confident in our quality," he said.
While wary of a United States team 24 places above Ghana in the FIFA rankings, Gyan is convinced his side has more raw talent than their opponents.
"Ghana is the more talented team," he said. "We have got a lot of talented players who are coming up and most of them are playing well for their clubs. I think we've got the youngest team in the tournament,” he added.
"The United States are a dangerous team but we don't think about the opponents but we think about ourselves," he said.
‘African teams capable of winning World Cup’
African sides are as good as any at the World Cup and one could end up winning it in Brazil, Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi said on Sunday ahead of his side's opening group game against outsiders Iran.
And if Nigeria were to get that far, against the current odds, expect at least one reporter to be running for cover.
"I will love it. I will kiss you all over," the former Nigeria captain turned 'Big Boss' assured a news conference at the Baixada arena, where his players kick off their campaign on Monday.
African champions Nigeria are one of five representatives from the continent competing in Brazil - the others are Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana and Ivory Coast - and face a tough task to get through a Group F that also includes Argentina and Bosnia.
However Keshi said their chances should not be under-estimated.
Asked how close he felt Africa was to winning the Cup for the first time, he did not hesitate: "Very close.
"Because they (the African sides) are good. As good as any other teams that are here. I think this tournament is an open tournament. We just have to do what we have to do," he said.
No deaths or injuries have been reported in the rains, which began early Friday and abated only on Sunday, dumping in 50 hours as much rain as is usually seen in the northeastern Brazilian city during the entire month of June.
READ MORE ON FIFA WORLD CUP