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Tropical storm Jimena causing extensive flooding, damage in Mulege area

September 3, 2009 |  9:37 am

Jimenats

Tropical storm Jimena, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, is weakening but causing extensive flooding in the Mulege and Santa Rosalia areas on the eastern coast of Baja California. Nearby Loreto reportedly is without electricity because of  a damaged power station.

Jimena made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane near San Carlos in the Magdalena Bay area, then swept across the peninsula to Santa Rosalia and Mulege, whose riverbanks have swelled. The popular surf destination San Juanico (Scorpion Bay) on the Pacific coast also has received extensive damage.

These areas have fared worse than Cabo San Lucas fared. Just a few days ago, that resort city at Land's End was bracing for a Category 5 hurricane.

Cabo San Lucas, East Cape and La Paz escaped with no major damage. In fact, sport-fishing boats and even a few dive boats from these areas embarked Thursday for the first time since the storm began to make its presence felt last weekend.

Reports from Mulege, however, indicate extensive flooding. A new hospital's floors are under water. A bridge leading into Mulege is damaged. And at least one person, an elderly man, has died.

Farther south, in the wake of Jimena, damage is still being assessed. In the Pacific port city of San Carlos, five commercial fishing boats were damaged or sunk. One of the vessels that sunk was the Ensenada, with 300 tons of tuna and other fish in its hold.

Jimena is expected to become a tropical depression later today, according to the National Hurricane Center. But rainfall will be significant as the storm tracks back across the peninsula toward the Pacific.

Meanwhile, on the southerly horizon, another disturbance has emerged (pictured). The yellow coloring implies there is less than a 30% chance it will develop into a tropical cyclone. That's good, because the region could use a respite.

-- Pete Thomas

Graphic: National Hurricane Center

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