Outposts

Outdoors, action, adventure

Category: Mexico

Damage reports grow in mid-Baja in wake of tropical storm Jimena

Residents look at lamp posts knocked down by Hurricane Jimena in Puerto San Carlos, Baja California Sur.
Baja Bush Pilots has been monitoring the damage caused by hurricane/tropical storm Jimena in northern Baja  California Sur. The situation, as reported earlier Thursday on Outposts, is bleak for many residents and disheartening for Baja aficionados who have grown fond of the region and its people.

Here's the midday update from the Bush Pilots, based not only on flyovers but reports from residents --before phone service went out, and in one instance a ham radio -- and members close to the situation:

-- Matancitas (Lopez Mateos): Almost 90% of structures are down or severely damaged. No water, power or telephone service.

-- Ciudad Constitucion: Most roofs are gone; severe damage to 70% of the buildings. No water, power or telephone service.

-- Loreto: No power or telephone service. Lines are down, trees are down. Buildings are damaged. The airport is closed.

-- Mulege: No water, power or telephone service. Water crested three feet above the bridge. Water was 2 feet deep in the fire station, which would mean that almost the entire town was flooded.  There have been reports of loss of life. (Outposts has learned at least one man has died, according to authorities.)

-- Punta Chivato: One person indicates that the wind was over 100 mph before the indicator broke.  Damage to almost everything.  We should hear about the condition of the strip sometime today.

-- Santa Rosalia: Wall of water came down the canyon and through the town, washed cars, etc., into the ocean.

Based on these reports, mid-Baja would seem to be disaster central. The Red Cross will have its hands full over the next several days. And a team from the U.S. Aid Disaster Assistance humanitarian group reportedly is in the area. Hopefully, the worst has passed.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Residents look at lamp posts knocked down by Hurricane Jimena in Puerto San Carlos, Baja California Sur. Credit: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

Tropical storm Jimena causing extensive flooding, damage in Mulege area

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

Note: To follow this blog on Twitter please visit @latimesoutposts


Cabo San Lucas, East Cape get off easy as Hurricane Jimena moves north

Wednesday's sunrise at the East Cape, which was not severely affected by Hurricane Jimena.

With Hurricane Jimena now well to the north, the official storm warning has been lifted from the Cabo San Lucas area and most people are discovering how fortunate they were.

(A hurricane warning remains in effect from Agua Blanca to Punta Abreojos on the west coast of Baja California, and from La Paz to Mulege on the east coast of the peninsula.)

"Everything is back to normal, the sea is calm, no wind, no rain, only minor damage like a few trees down," Tracy Ehrenberg, general manager at Pisces Sportfishing, said via e-mail.

The accompanying image was captured Wednesday at sunrise by Mark Rayor, owner of Vista Sea Sport, at the East Cape, 100 miles north of Cabo San Lucas along the Sea of Cortez.

Rayor said the wind never exceeded 25 mph. "I'm not complaining because we've had our share of bad storms," he added. "But on normal bad days we've had stronger winds than this, and the surf pounds as hard."

Rayor is sending a dive boat out Thursday. Cabo San Lucas and East Cape fleets willl send fishing boats out Thursday.

Continue reading »

Hurricane Jimena now west of Cabo San Lucas, making its presence felt

Medano beach

This just in from the National Hurricane Center: Hurricane Jimena is now opposite the Baja California Peninsula, 90 miles west-northwest of Cabo San Lucas.

The storm, with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, is traveling to the west-northwest at 13 mph. The center of the storm is expected to make landfall at Magdalena Bay early Wednesday.

I don't have much new information since the last report but L.A. Times correspondent Ken Ellingwood's story on the hurricane has been posted on the company website.

Clearly, wind and rain have become major issues in and around Cabo San Lucas. The accompanying images, captured late Tuesday afternoon, are provided by Glenn Ehrenberg, son of Marco and Tracy Ehrenberg, who run Pisces Sportfishing.

The top photo shows the tidal surge Medano Beach (Playa el Medano), where popular on-the-sand-restaurants such as the Office and Mango Deck enjoy robust business on calmer days. 

Below are some fallen trees, showing how powerful hurricane-force winds can be.

Outposts will attempt to assess the damage in the tourist areas of Baja California Sur on Wednesday morning.

-- Pete Thomas

Cabo trees

Hurricane Jimena weakens slightly as it nears Baja California

Jimena2

Hurricane Jimena has been downgraded to a Category 3 storm with 125-mph winds as it approaches Baja California.

Because it will pass well to the west of Cabo San Lucas, it probably will not cause major damage to well-built structures in that sprawling resort city at Baja's tip.

Tracy Ehrenberg, general manager of Pisces Sportfishing, said from her home on the Pacific side of the peninsula that winds had not surpassed 50 mph as of 3 p.m.

"I've been calmly cooking lunch in the kitchen, and there's nothing flying around or anything," Ehrenberg said, adding that the television, Internet and telephone were still working.

Ehrenberg did not downplay the seriousness of the storm, citing the potential for flood and wind damage in areas where poorer people live and homes aren't well situated or well constructed.

Thirty miles away in San Jose del Cabo, electricity was intermittent. "Skies are not as dark as earlier, though is some directions you can see it is raining hard," said Eric Brictson, who runs the Gordo Banks Pangas fishing business. "Surf is 15 to 20 feet. The waves are already coming up into the panga launch ramp area and by now that might already be unusable without major repair work.

"Streets are a mess and we will definitely have a lot of cleaning to do when the system moves further north."

Waves generated by Hurricane Jimena crash on the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula Tuesday afternoon.

Flooding reportedly has made portions of the highway leading to the East Cape region and La Paz impassable. But aside from street flooding, those regions have not been especially hard hit. 

Mark Rayor, who runs a scuba center and charters a fishing boat out of Buena Vista, described the storm so far as "a few puffs of wind and and about 4 inches of rain."

In fact, some are already looking beyond the storm to brighter days ahead. "We expect to have our fleet fishing again starting on Thursday," said  Eddie Dalmau, a spokesman for Van Wormer Resorts in the East Cape area.

That might be overly optimistic -- the storm's center is still 100 miles southwest of the peninsula -- but time will tell. To be sure, it ought to be an interesting and perhaps very noisy night.

-- Pete Thomas

Graphic courtesy of the National Hurricane Center

Photo: Waves generated by Hurricane Jimena crash on the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula Tuesday afternoon. Credit: Glenn Ehrenberg

Hurricane Jimena begins wreaking havoc in and beyond Los Cabos area

Cabo Pacifica

Hurricane Jimena is weakening slightly as it approaches Baja California, but it remains a Category 4 storm and though its center is 100 miles south-southwest of Cabo San Lucas, it is beginning to wreak considerable havoc there and throughout the state of Baja California Sur.

Visiting tourists -- many of them fishermen and surfers -- who chose to stay and ride out the storm are doing so indoors. Some resorts have boarded their windows. Streets are flooded, and rain is torrential at times. The Los Cabos airport was closed at last check, and flight service has been disrupted. Those with scheduled flights over the next few days are urged to consult their carrier.

"The weather is steadily deteriorating," Eric Brictson, owner of Gordo Banks Pangas in San Jose del Cabo, said Tuesday morning via e-mail. "Winds are now starting to gust out of the east and rainfall has been steady to extremely hard. Have not even been down to check the beach today, I hear that the surf is near 20 feet. We are bracing for the worse yet to come, probably this evening. I am sure there will be some heavy flood damage."

Hotel guests are certainly faring better than inland residents, particularly the poor who live in areas prone to flooding. Thousands reportedly have been evacuated to shelters.

At the East Cape north of Cabo San Lucas on the Sea of Cortez, well beyond of Jimena's projected path, hotel owners and guests are in wait-and-see mode. Gary Barnes-Webb, foreman at the Rancho Leonero Resort, said he sent some guests home before the storm made its presence felt, but about 20 guests remain.

Continue reading »

Cabo San Lucas area begins to feel impact of Hurricane Jimena

Waves generated by Hurricane Jimena crash beyond Cabo Falso on the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula. 

At 8 a.m. today, the center of Hurricane Jimena, with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph, was  140 miles south-southwest of Cabo San Lucas and churning toward the Baja California peninsula at about 12 mph.

The accompanying image was captured just after 8 a.m. from the area of the old lighthouse at Cabo Falso on the Pacific side of the peninsula north of Cabo San Lucas.

Rain comes and goes and wave heights are steadily increasing. Cabo San Lucas is no longer in the projected path of the hurricane. Neither are any of the towns and fishing resorts along the Sea of Cortez to and slightly beyond La Paz.

The center of the storm is predicted to brush Magdalena Bay on the Pacific side early Wednesday and make landfall north of that port city later in the day.

The Mexican government has extended a hurricane warning northward on the Pacific side of the peninsula from Cabo San Lucas to Punta Abreojos, and along the gulf side to Mulege.

Rainfall is expected to total  between 5 to 10 inches in most areas and possibly 15 inches in isolated areas, according to the National Hurricane Center

Jimena has subtly changed course a few times over the past few days. Outposts will provide updates as warranted.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Waves generated by Hurricane Jimena crash beyond Cabo Falso on the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula. Credit: Glenn Ehrenberg

Note: To follow this blog on Twitter please visit @latimes.com


Hurricane Jimena approaching Baja; will it prove worthy of the hype?

Stormcam

*Updated with new forecast that places Cabo San Lucas outside the hurricane's cone, or projected path

Above is a 2 p.m. Monday view from the webcam stationed at Pisces Sportfishing in Cabo San Lucas, overlooking the marina and its entrance. (Note: webcam might not be working during the storm.)

You can see how many boats have been removed from their slips, and how calm the area is a day before the arrival to the region of Hurricane Jimena, a Category 5 storm expected to skirt Cabo and much of Baja California Sur before making landfall 150 miles to the north Wednesday morning.

Tracy Ehrenberg, general manager of the fishing fleet, states on the the company blog: "From all the hype on TV you would think we were about to get swept of the face of the earth. Not to be flippant, but getting overly anxious about tropical weather at this time of year is pointless."

That might be partially true, and Ehrenberg has been through dozens of hurricanes, so she should know. To be sure, Jimena's track appears to have shifted subtly enough to alleviate concerns of widespread wind-caused damage in Cabo and in fishing villages on the Sea of Cortez side of the peninsula, stretching to about La Paz.

However, it's an unusually large storm for the Eastern Pacific, with maximum sustained winds of about 155 mph, and it has steadily intensified over the past 24 hours. (The National Hurricane Center's 2 p.m. update  listed Jimena as a Category 4 storm, but the Mexican Navy has since classified it as a Category 5 disturbance.)

Rainfall amounts in the southern half of Baja California Sur and in parts of western Mexico will range from 5-10 inches, possibly much more in some areas, according to the National Hurricane Center.

And the storm's track is somewhat uncertain, so in this case, perhaps, the hype is warranted.

(Note: The 5 p.m. Monday update from the National Hurricane Center shows Cabo San Lucas o be outside the hurricane's cone, or projected path. Outposts will post a separate update Tuesday morning.)

-- Pete Thomas

 

Hurricane Jimena intensifies, prompting warnings in Baja California Sur

Jimena 8 am  

*Updated with new forecast that places Cabo San Lucas outside the hurricane's cone, or projected path

As Southern Californians continue to deal with fire and smoke, residents and tourists in Baja California Sur are bracing for the arrival of Hurricane Jimena, an intense storm that might cause widespread flooding and damage.

The 8 a.m. Monday advisory from the National Hurricane Center positioned the eye of the storm 355 miles south-southeast of Cabo San Lucas. It's traveling to the northwest with maximum sustained winds of about 145 mph, making it a Category 4 hurricane. It will make landfall in the Magdalena Bay area late Tuesday or very early Wednesday.

The government of Mexico has issued a Hurricane Warning for the southern half of the state. That means hurricane conditions are likely within the next 24 hours.

Beachfront hotels are shoring up and fishing fleet crews from Cabo San Lucas to La Paz have been pulling boats from the water or moving them to safer areas. Many guests at Rancho Leonero Resort on the East Cape flew home before their scheduled departure dates. Guests at nearby Hotel Punta Colorada were moved to Hotel Palmas de Cortez. Both are Van Wormer Resorts properties.

Tracy Ehrenberg, general manager of Pisces Sportfishing in Cabo San Lucas, said Monday morning that seas were calm and the port was still open. In fact, Pisces has two charters today. Ehrenberg expects the typical chaos in advance of a hurricane -- long lines at gas stations, etc. -- to ensue throughout the day.

Mark Rayor, who runs Vista Sea Sport in Buena Vista in the East Cape, took delivery of a Cabo 35 fishing boat Friday in La Paz. A day after he drove the boat south to the East Cape, he drove it back to the protected harbor in La Paz. "The people I bought it from told me it was a lucky boat," he said. "I'm hoping they were right."

If there's a silver lining, the region is drought-stricken and parched, and Jimena is already delivering showers. Said Eric Brictson, owner of Gordo Banks Pangas: "It has been a while since we have been hit, so this could be the one one that finally brings some much-needed rainfall."

(Note: The 5 p.m. Monday update from the National Hurricane Center shows Cabo San Lucas and fishing resorts on the Sea of Cortez to about La Paz to be outside the hurricane's cone, or projected path. That is subject to change, however. Outposts will post a separate update Tuesday morning.)

--Pete Thomas

Palmas

Graphic courtesy of the National Hurricane Center

Photo: In the calm before the storm, fishermen in the East Cape display the day's catch of dorado, or mahi-mahi. Credit: Van Wormer Resorts


Cabo San Lucas area braces for Hurricane Jimena but will welcome the rain

Cabo

*Update: Jimena has strengthened since this report was posted. As of 8 p.m. Sunday it had sustained winds of 145 mph. Also, it's now expected to make landfall south of Magdalena Bay. A separate item with further updates will be posted by mid-morning Monday.

If you've scheduled a fishing trip to Cabo San Lucas early this week, bring your umbrella and plan on spending time indoors.

Hurricane Jimena, off mainland Mexico, has intensified overnight and is classified as a Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of about 135 mph.  At 8 a.m. Sunday its center was located 515 miles south-southeast of Cabo and was tracking to the northwest (see graphic below) at about 9 mph.

The National Hurricane Center predicts it will skirt the Baja California peninsula before making landfall Tuesday night in the Magdalena Bay area. It will deliver plenty of much-needed rain, but might also cause extensive flooding.

The region desperately needs rain. Cattle are perishing and some residents in Los Cabos and throughout Baja California Sur are being given running water only once or twice a week. (Running water is not an issue for hotel guests.)

The storm might also lead to temporary port closures. Eric Bricston, who runs Gordo Banks Pangas out of San Jose del Cabo, said via e-mail: "This storm does look dangerous and most likely on Monday morning we will have to haul all of the pangas [skiffs] out of the marina docking area up to the houses. A lot of heavy work, but it is better to be safe than sorry."

That's a common refrain at this time of year.

-- Pete Thomas

Cabostorm 

Photo of the famous arch off Cabo San Lucas is by Geraldine Wilkins

Graphic is courtesy of the National Hurricane Center

La Paz fishing picks up as wahoo, tuna and dorado take up slack

Shannon Aurand is all smiles while holding a wahoo while posing with Capt. Jorge of the Tailhunter fleet. Aurand caught 10 species in 10 days.

Wahoo, tuna and dorado are active again in the Sea of Cortez near La Paz, reports Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International.

"Not only did the dorado find their way back into the feeding mode, but even more importantly for our Tailhunter Las Arenas fleet, the tuna and wahoo came back strong," Roldan exclaims.

The yellowfin tuna are running 10-30 pounds and biting close to the beach in the remote Las Arenas area, where the deep blue water is almost literally a stone's throw from the sandy beach. The tuna are biting on live bait, slow-trolled dead bait and iron lures.

"Light-tackle anglers had a blast because the tuna were mixed in with even harder-charging bullish bonito and big skipjack, so it was nonstop action between the three species," Roldan continues.

Further spicing up the action are sleek and speedy (and delectable) wahoo, which are biting on dark crankbaits and standard wahoo lures, and running 30-50 pounds. Many wahoo were lost but most anglers fishing for the sharp-toothed game fish are at least getting strikes.

Dorado are averaging 10-30 pounds. Marlin (offshore) and roosterfish (inshore) are biting only sporadically.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Shannon Aurand is all smiles while holding a wahoo while posing with Capt. Jorge of the Tailhunter fleet. Aurand caught 10 species in 10 days. Credit: Tailhunter International

Grand Prix racer John Hopkins makes fast work of Cabo San Lucas marlin

John Hopkins 1

Tracy Ehrenberg at Pisces Sportfishing in Cabo San Lucas provided this photo of Grand Prix motorcycle racer John Hopkins (center, with red cap) posing with one of two striped marlin he and his group caught during a recent excursion aboard Valerie.

"They wanted to release both marlin, but unfortunately the second one died, despite 15 minutes of trying to revive it," Ehrenberg said.

It was a productive outing considering that marlin have been difficult to locate this past week, according to most reports. Same goes for tuna, leaving dorado as the most reliable offshore game fish.

Unusually warm water in the Sea of Cortez might explain why the offshore fishing has slowed (inshore anglers are finding lots of roosterfish). Capt. George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing said readings topped out at 90 degrees along parts of the 1,000-fathom line.

The water is cooler on the Pacific side of the peninsula, where conditions have ranged from good to choppy. The landing operators are hoping for an upturn in fishing soon.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Grand Prix motorcycle racer John Hopkins, center, and crew display one of two marlin they caught recently off Cabo San Lucas. Credit: Pisces Sportfishing

Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...


About the Bloggers
Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.



Categories


Archives