September 6, 2009

Day 2 After Jimena

Current exterior of guesthouse redesigned by Jimena

It is such a beautiful day outside, if I didn’t know how badly the town had fared I might be able to fool myself into thinking everything was ok. The guards have been cleaning fallen leaves and broken tree limbs from the yard for the last two days. The exterior paint job on the guesthouse is damaged as are some of the inside walls where the water ran down.

A heliocopter just rumbled overhead. Yesterday was major heliocopter day, I don’t know if there was just one or if there were several flying around doing reconnaissance. The Governor of Baja Sur was supposed to be here yesterday doing damage assessment. The nearest airport, at Palo Verde (about 40 minutes south), is completely washed out. Esperando has been trying to help Baja Bush Pilots organize an air relief effort, and it looks like the highway near San Ignacio is a likely candidate.

We connected back up to City power yesterday and disconnected the generator. I was very impressed how quickly the electric company got the power back up, there were so many downed poles and wires from the storm. The power came on in fits and starts; it would come, then go off an hour later, stay on for some arbitrary amount of time, go off again and so on. The house was really hot to sleep in when the power went off not even the fans worked, there was no breeze, and the humidity must be around 90% from the good soaking the hurricane left behind. Fortunately the temperature was about 79F, it could have been much hotter. These big storms do cool the air down several degrees after they have passed through.

Esperando has been told the City water system is defunct: 2 km of water pipeline and one well have disappeared; they do not yet know the fate of the rest of the wells. People really need the water for drinking, cooking and washing. The government is setting up a potable water plant so water will be available. I noticed today when I went out the front door a strong smell of raw sewage.

We are starting to hear big trucks rumbling through right below our house. They have probably diverted the road past us. Transpeninsular Hwy 1 is IT for transporting goods across the peninsula. I know the road is badly washed out in places, but at least stuff is getting through again.

The Cowboy is flying in to Loreto today and will be driving up tomorrow with a truck load of water and other necessities for the employees. He will be a good source for finding out how the road fares between here and Loreto. It is hoped he can get the mine roads dug out. The Hurricane washed away the guard shack, gate and fence leading into the mine. It is as if there was no mine entrance ever there. The entire plain is swept clean as a whistle.

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