September 4, 2009

Hurricane Jimena

Highway approaches to Santa Rosalia north (top) and south (bottom three)

Hurricane Jimena has left a mess of Santa Rosalia. Both north and south Highway 1 approaches have lost big chunks to make driving all but impossible for anything but a 4X4. Downtown is still paralyzed with heavy mud. Electrical crews are working hard and electricity is slowly coming back on in town, no running water though. Baja Bush Pilots is supporting the Mexican Red Cross in trying to organize relief efforts.

The storm entered as a Category 1 Hurricane, sat on top of us for 10 hours, went away for 8 hours and has now returned as a Tropical Depression, a fairly steady downpour moving slowly at 6 mph. This is a pretty soggy place right now. We have been told by locals that this is the worst storm in 50 years.

San Ignacio gets its power from Santa Rosalia and so is also probably still without power.

The following excerpts of correspondence to is quoted:

“My name is Rosalva Rocha Cuesta. I was born and raised in Mulege, Baja California Sur. This morning I had the fortune to speak with my sister in Mulege. She related to me the devastation left behind by Hurricane Jimena. The trail of damage left by H. Jimena is far worse that H. John back in 2006. The water level was much higher(apparently 2meters over the bridge in town), than of H. John´s. Without going into further detail, I am sure you get the picture. The only store in town open for business is "´El Pinguino" near the kindergarten area. Most of the supermarkets in town had major flood problem damaging their goods and were left unable to provide for the Muleginos in ne! ed. La tienda "El Pinguino", was running out of everything this morning already. . . I am sending this message to you requesting your help for my people in Mulege. Muleginos have no way to reach out at this point, but they are in desperate need of water and food.”

“Hello Joe Diorio here at Chivato. PCH runway was in good shape until it started raining again this AM. Will need a couple of days to dry when the sun comes out.... Latest from Palo Verde / San Bruno/ Chivato Bay... what ever you want to call it. It´s unusable. large boulders and river ran through the middle of it. Hotel Serenidad (in Mulege) under water .... so we should have our (Punto Chivato) road graded to the highway as soon as the sun comes out and I´ve heard that the road from Palo Verde to Mulege is passable.... maybe air lift to here and run in with trucks??? Let me know if i can help from here. Will walk runway as soon as rain stops...”

People concerned about Punto Chivato should check out which has photos of many of the homes there.

And from Dave Perry “Jack, I just talked to Loreto, there is no electricity, which they guess won´t be connected for 10 days to two weeks. No water anywhere in town for 4 days. All food sold out of markets, gas station running on a generator-lines over 1/2 mile, night and day.” Reports from a local resident employee in Loreto state that there 50 high voltage power lines down between Cuidad Constitucion (where Loreto power comes from) to Loreto.

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