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Tropical Storm Rick alters course, may spare Cabo San Lucas area major damage

October 20, 2009 |  9:47 am


A tropical storm warning remains in effect in Cabo San Lucas and parts of Baja California Sur. But Tropical Storm Rick, now with maximum sustained winds of only 65 mph, has altered course considerably and its center is expected to pass well to the south of the peninsula.

This has Cabo San Lucas residents breathing a sigh of relief, but there is sad news: Authorities confirmed that a 16-year-old boy was killed Monday in the pounding surf at Medano Beach, which faces the famous arches at Land's End.

Huge waves continue to pound the beach and the storm surge has reached many of its hotel patios. The  Los Cabos International Airport remains open but travelers are advised to check with their carriers regarding possible delays or cancellations.

Tracy Ehrenberg, general manager of Pisces Sportfishing, says it has been raining steadily but lightly since Monday night, and there is little wind. The annual Bisbee's Black & Blue Marlin Tournament, which is the world's richest billfish competition, was scheduled to run Wednesday through Friday but probably will run as a two-day competition Thursday and Friday, as the port will remain closed through at least Wednesday.

Eric Brictson, owner of Gordo Banks Pangas, said today via e-mail: "The storm has really weakened, but it is still raining lightly at this time and we are out of work during a very busy time. We do assume we will be able to start operations back up on Thursday morning."

At 8 a.m. Tuesday the storm was located 200 miles south-southwest of Cabo San Lucas and traveling in a northeasterly direction. According to the National Hurricane Center its center is expected to pass Cabo San Lucas tonight or early Wednesday on a course toward mainland Mexico.

Rainfall will be heavy and flooding is possible in some areas.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Storm watchers run from the deck at a hotel on Medano Beach as a large wave overtakes their perch. Credit: Paul J. Richards / AFP / Getty Images