Wednesday, September 02, 2009

September in Baja California, Tropical Weather Deluge Rainfall, Real Damage Reports

via Baja Weather Service



September 1, 2009 CONDITIONS FORECAST:

Damage from Hurricane Jimena is now expected to be catastrophic. Landfall should occur September 2.

Baja Racing will report the storm damages here:

Broken roads from Constitution to La Paz reported.

La Paz electricity out a couple of times in outlying areas like El Centenario and El Comitan.

Lots of wind and rain damage, flooding reportedly widespread.

The federal government declared a state of emergency for Los Cabos and the state capital of La Paz as the storm approached. Schools, many ports and most businesses closed. Rescue workers from the Red Cross and the Mexican military prepared for post-hurricane disaster relief, and two Mexican army Hercules cargo planes flew in medical supplies.

While its center missed the peninsula's resort-studded southern tip, its outer fringes kicked up huge waves and flooded streets.

From Loreto, early on Tuesday morning: No power here since before 6 am.
Winds steady with gusts direction is east to west. My guess is some of the gusts are borderline cat 1 strength

State Council of Civil Projection emits; although in the north and center of South Baja California Alerta stayed Orange; three thousand people have left their homes to lodge themselves in temporary refuges in schools qualified throughout the organization, and in the last hours 205 people in their majority were evacuated women and children of the zone of Lagoon San Ignacio; 80 men of the communities of the Delgadito.

A caravan of doctors of the Secretariat of Health moves to the north of the state to take care of the contingency. Taking care of a request of the mayoress of Pink La Paz Delia Montaño Level, the army put in operation a shelter in the community of the Pescadero.

The red declaration of alert by the National Coordinator of Civil defense of the Secretariat of Interior, also applies to the navigation and aerial. In that sense, it asked to mass media to spread only official information issued by the National Commission of the Water and the actions of prevention and aid to the population during the contingency that faces the organization by the presence of Jimena. Within the framework of the sixth session of the State Council of Civil defense in which the holder of the Sedesol Ernesto Lamb and the National director of the National Commission of the Water were present Jose Luis Luege Tamargo.


From a Punta Chivato neighbor last night at midnight EST:
Extremely violent weather conditions. Wind changing direction, things really F'd up. Buckets of water coming in an extremely well buttoned up house. Reports that some neighbors lost their roof

Thursday, September 3, 2009 Official Damage Reports:

As part of the sixth session of the State Council of Civil Defense were present when the holder of SEDESOL Ernesto Cordero and National Director of the National Water Commission José Luis Luege Tamargo, was again called on the population to take precautions, noting that the fact that Jimena has been downgraded, does not mean you have lost dangerous.

The heaviest rain occurred in San Jose del Cabo, with a rainfall of 70 millimeters, in La Paz, 27.3, Todos Santos 26 and Cabo San Lucas 22.5.

Meanwhile, the Third Military Zone reported that about 30 families of Laguna San Ignacio and 40 people from Laguna Ojo de hare refused to leave their homes for shelter in temporary shelters.

According to the National Weather Service forecast, Jimena would be leaving the state territory on Friday noon, entering the Sea of Cortez a tropical storm, however, is the statewide emergency, particularly for the municipality of Mulege where shelters have been installed to serve the population of the communities of G. Negro, Vizcaino, Bahia Asuncion, La Bocana, Punta Abreojos.

The latest from San Juanico/Scorpion Bay, on the Pacific coast: Wind "well over 80 mph" last night. This morning still raining and windy. Residents said they thought the center of the storm went over Scorpion Bay.

Loreto, Mulege and Santa Rosalia, Sea of Cortez coast: lots of fences flattened, trees gone, roofs damaged. Rivers probably north and south will make going or coming impossible for a while.

The phones. Land lines are usually the last thing to go down during storms in Baja. Reports indicate sporadic outages from G. Negro to La Paz.

Cell phone service was hit hard. some cel services will be out for some time, depending on which towers were hit and how fast crews can repair them.

Punta Chuvato was a nightmare last night, all services gone and howling winds and rain all night!

Punta Chivato some homes are lost and roofs as well...people sleeping in their cars because no one could get out to help...they went through hell.

On the Cortez coast: lots of blown over electricity towers around Loreto was stunning...Loreto will have NO POWER FOR 6 DAYS MIMIMUM they reported. San Carlos and Lopez Mateos got trashed pretty bad

Mulege Devastation:

The news is not good, looks like the waters are higher than John and cap that with heavier winds which have really knocked the town for six. All power, water etc. is out but there is a very strong military presence in the area. It looks like it is gonna be another long few weeks and months for those guys. My thoughts go out to all the residence and I just hope that there were few injuries (did not have that info at this time, when they called). There seems to be one phone working, somehow, which is how people are slowly getting out info. All roads are closed.

Reports have the water over the bridge by 2 feet! Roof off of the fire station with about 3 feet of water.

Another Report this morning regarding Mulege:

The municipal delegation of Mulege is on the radio and says the river is 2 meters higher than John was...and damages much worse...the new hospital did not fare death, an 80 year old man rafael and the radio is cutting in and out and i didnt get his last name. The city representative was upset with people who refused to seek shelter....all hell broke loose...things flying around as well as the water...more wind than john and now nearly not transmitting....cut out now. Much discussion this morning on the radio about how mexicanos never think the storms will affect them.

Another report regarding Mulege and region:

Radio reports that 60% of the homes in Lopez Mateos are water...cut off from the highway and need supplies flown in now...drinking water, food and medecine as the pharmacy is totally lost so have no medicine..the coop is trashed so the future is houses...shelter cannot support the number of people in them.

The Mayor of the town of Mulege was also on the radio and was notably upset and could only repeat things in this county are a power, no water, houses wrecked, pandemonium and all are seeking assistance by air for cutting in and out...he mentioned something about mud but I doubt he was in mulege village...he was in Santa Rosalia...highway cut off in many places.

Huge problem is all the power line towers that have banks, refrigeration, water purification etc....power may take longer to restore.
Cell service to Chivato is down...i imagine russ would be posting if he could. I got a very graphic email from a punta chivato resident about the nightmare last night...lots of damage...much more wind than anyone would have dreamed...and from all directions....blowing out storm shutters, doors, roofs off etc....extreme damage and still blowing this morning.

Baja Weather Service Official Report Today:

September 3, 2009

""Mayhem in Mulege, One reported dead and thousands homeless in the wake of Jimena Storms

(BWS) Cabo San Lucas-

One person reported dead and Historic flooding downed services

When Hurricane Jimena struck Baja Sur Mexico yesterday at Mag Bay on the Pacific coast, it was just the start of death and destruction left today on the state. One person is reported dead in Mulege with historic accounts of flooding on the Mulege River. All services are out throughout Commondu county.

The Mayor of Mulege pleaded with local residents over the local Mexican Radio, to "not panic", though he admitted, services could be out for weeks.

Tropical Storm Jimena left thousands homeless in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur, as an official said the storm could have caused “three to four times” more damage had it hit the Los Cabos resort area.

Jimena, which weakened from a hurricane after it slammed into the Baja California peninsula in western Mexico yesterday, ripped roofs off homes, knocked down electricity towers and light poles and created flooding that blocked roads into some communities, said Audel Alvarez, trainer for the state civil protection, by phone today from the state capital of La Paz.

More than 8,000 people were left homeless, EL Universal newspaper reported.Saffir- Simpson scale, with winds of about 137 kilometers per hour (85 mph), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Jimena came ashore mid-afternoon local time as a Category 1 hurricane, the weakest on the five-step

“Considering that the storm hit the northernmost towns, the damage would have been three to four times worse had it hit Los Cabos,” Alvarez said. He declined to say how many people had been left homeless. There have been no reports of deaths and officials are investigating a report that one person is missing, he said.

The Los Cabos area on the peninsula’s southern tip includes Cabo San Lucas and a 33-kilometer stretch of beach resorts. The towns of Constitucion, Comondu and San Carlos along the western coast of Baja California Sur were the worst hit, Alvarez said.

Thousands Evacuated

Jimena was on the cusp of Category 5 two days ago, with maximum sustained winds of 249 mph, prompting authorities to evacuate several thousand people and set up emergency shelters for as many as 30,000.

The storm weakened further today, with winds dropping to 80 kph as the system moved north over land, drenching Baja California Sur with rain, the NHC said. It may move back over the Pacific and dissipate later in the week, the center said.

More than 50,000 people lost electricity, the Federal Electricity Commission said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The commission is the state-owned company that provides power outside of Mexico City. Power should be restored to all customers by late tomorrow, Alvarez said.

Tropical Storm Jimena is still moving across Central Baja Mexico today, said Baja Weather Service forecaster Kevin Stafles, from the resort town of Cabo San Lucas, earlier today.""

From Pta.Chivato, about Mulege just received:

Phones out. Mulege worse than Hurricane John event. ALL houses flooded in Punta Chivato... road out. Even the new bridge is OUT on the main highway. No water, main house valves left open have resulted in pilas being drained as exterior water lines are cut by erosion or debris. Acostas, roof damage, plywood blown off windows. Aselin roof severe damage, windows caved in, palapas destroyed. Severe beach erosion all over.

Resident homes roundup:

Bowers house OK, boat OK. Cox, minor damage. Jones some roof eaves blown off house. holes in garage roof. Ian, trailer moved 3-4ft, deck gone. Dykyne, master, kitchen windows blown in. Carl, very extensive damage, to all of compound. Jaime extensive roof damage. Big D bedroom flooded, doors blown in. Woods, eaves blown off, palapa destroyed. Wales, heavy retaining wall damage, collapsed. Tonini, outside kitchen windows blown in. Sparky may not have made it. Navarra, heavy beach erosion, some roof damage. Becks, windows blown in. Cavanaughs destroyed. Jorge windows blown in, flooded. Moranville, minor fence damage.

More Reports In:

Heavy damage to majority of houses on shell beach.
Heard from a cruiser in Puerto Escondido, four boats ashore. No word from communities, Singlar, Tripui, El Juncalito yet. Right now you cannot get here, there is not enough food or water. Plan on ten days minimum of reconstruction throughout area.


Catastrophic, Historic and Mortal Damages Reported

Central Baja has suffered major damage. We are getting “real time” reports from different sources including people on the ground in the damage areas as well as the Mexican Red Cross. It is not good. The reports that we have indicate:

Matancitas (Lopez Mateos) Almost 90% of the structures are down or severely damaged. All water, power, telephone, etc. out
Ciudad Constitucion: Most roofs are gone; sever damage to 70% of the buildings. Power, water, telephones are out

Loreto: All power / telephone are down, lines are down, trees and buildings blocking the streets, airport is closed at this time.

Mulege: All power, telephone, water, etc. is out. The water crested three feet above the bridge. Water was two feet deep in the fire station which would mean that almost of the entire town was flooded. Sadly, there have been numerous reports of loss of life.

Punta Chivato: One person indicates that the wind was over 100 mph before the WIND SPEED 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.

Another Report:

News from Loreto:

We had a lot of wind and rain but we did have more rain from Hurricane Juan in 2006. Since it did make landfall in San Carlos, the electricity is out and I'm told for 4-5 more days, minimum. The water had been shut off prior to the hurricane's arrival for at least four days. People here in Loreto are doing good and reports of not much damage. The people who have generators can run essential equipment. Some gas stations have generators to pump gas but the lines are long. There's talk about other tropical systems currently below Cabo heading for the Sea of Cortez but I haven't been able to verify that. Some roads are washed out north and south of Loreto but will probably be fixed quickly since it's our main highway. My husband Randy went to check on Puerto Escondido yesterday and there was a rock slide close to Juncalito.

Another Report:

The new bridge just south of Santa Rosalia is wiped out or at least non-passable. That is a major wash that goes by the Federal Police station which is probably not even in existence at this time. The road to Punta Chivato is washed out and not passable at this time. Heavy wind damage and most of the cell phone stations are out. I did talk with Los Frailes this afternoon and there was a lot of damage in Ejido San Lucas.

No roads open between Santa Rosalia and La Paz. All stopped. The Mulege dam broke.

Roads all washed south of us and between Loreto and La Paz. No traffic.
Mulege is bad. Locals are saying worse than John. Can't believe it, but, not one place between here and there has an undamaged roof. Everything on the river is ruined. The Serenidad Hotel took an awful hit. He also said he actually saw the high water mark at Panchos store and it was three feet above the sidewalk on the side of his store. The Mulege dam broke. Buildings are flattened and power poles are down. Also the huge new bridge on the corner just going into Santa Rosalia is gone. I don't know if that means it is totally gone or just sections but it is impassable so no traffic between here and there.

Latest estimates are that we have received about 30 inches in 27 hours. Still raining, occasionally hard. No cell service. Many boats swamped in the bahia. That elderly gentlemen on the seawall was rescued. Heard that the old marina in Santa Rosalia is completely gone. I think it never dropped below a 1/2 inch an hour.

Our power probably wont return for days. I will check in when I can. We have been trailer bound and cut off by arroyos into a box of maybe a 1/4 mile, even with 4wd.

The dead man has been identified in Mulege:
Rafael Cuesta Real, 69 years old, reported casualty, from this storm, was Rafael Cuestas' father (the water man). Authorities reported that the septuagenarian of Mulege, drowned in their homes. And in the fishing village of San Buto, Comondú municipality, a person remains missing.


Village of Magdalena Island, Wiped off the Baja Sur Map

Baja Weather Service Official Report

Isla Magdalena, Baja California Sur .- On his way through Baja California, Hurricane Jimena "devastated Magdalena Island, about 200 homes were destroyed, leaving hundreds of homelessness people, who for two centuries are settled in this majestic stretch of land, about 200 families are in distress and urgent clamor for government intervention at all three levels, said Martin de la Toba Miranda.

The treasurer of the Cooperative Society Magdalena Bay, De la Toba Miranda, settled in Magdalena Island desolation prevails before the destruction suffered by nearly 200 fishing families, who also suffered a total loss of fishing gear.

"Our fellow fishermen and their families are in utter helplessness, the effort of a lifetime of work over four generations of sailors," Jimena "he scratched his way ruthlessly devastating heritage of nearly 200 families," he said fishing leader.

He said they will move to Puerto San Carlos in order to bring support and comfort to the families of Magdalena Island that are still in temporary shelters and others living with friends and family.

The cooperative representative said the president, Teodoro Beltran de la Toba, immediately went to assist them, to this day we will bring back our fellow water, food and clothing and while we know that this support is not enough, we want to alleviate the distress before suffering a total loss of their homes, their property assets which have inherited generation after generation.

In response, launched an appeal to the State Government and the Federation to turn to the Isla Magdalena and their victims, about 200 families suffer a cruel distress to the total destruction suffered by the passage of Hurricane Jimena, erased "an entire village".

Magdalena Island is worth mentioning that, together with its creeks, canals and Magdalena Bay are an incredible natural reserves where nature continues the cycle.

Long and narrow sand barrier 80 km long which is located off the west coast of Baja California Sur, next to Bahia Magdalena. This bay, the largest of the peninsula, covers an area of 260 km2 and extends 200 km, from La Poza Grande in the north to the Clam Bay Lagoon in the south."

"La Paz-Ciudad Constitucion, San Carlos, just over 50 thousand people around the towns without light and water." (who had it before).

"The parastatal explained that the strong wind knocked over a 1200 posts, 102 towers and damaged the circuits of distribution and transmission lines."

"Jimena" leaves to 75 thousand without services in BCS

"The Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) reported that 59 thousand people in Loreto, Ciudad Constitucion, Santa Rosalia, Puerto San Carlos, Mulege, Comondú Villa Insurgentes and other villages were left without light."

"In the municipalities of Comondu and Mulege at least 2 thousand homes have been severely damaged. In the town of Puerto Adolfo López Mateos some 250 are recorded damage in Mulege over 600, including 300 with total damage."

"The delegate Ivan de la Toba reported that Lopez Mateos-... are without the services of electricity or running water, and that the 500 evacuees exceeded the capacity of shelters, which is 300."

"Travel is limited to 4x4 and is difficult to pass from La Paz to Constituccion due to obstacles, mud, and road problems."

In Mulege County 6,000 people require temporary (albergadas) housing.
In Cabo region 3500
In La Paz region 1500
In Loreto region 417

Most other regions not yet reporting


"On his way through Baja California, Hurricane Jimena "devastated Magdalena Island, about 200 homes were destroyed, leaving hundreds of homeless people, who for two centuries are settled in this majestic stretch of land, about 200 families are in distress and urgent clamor for government intervention at all three levels, said Martin de la Toba Miranda."


In Mulege 8,000 people are in temporary shelter


The Secretary General of Mulegé, José Antonio Espinoza Tirado, did a damage review and he estimates there are 650 homes damaged in Mulegé, with about 300 a total loss.

The road from Loreto to Cabo San Lucas is passable. From Loreto to Santa Rosalia there are 9 washouts and the road is not passable. Mulegé is currently isolated.


From Ciudad Constitution:

The paved Constitution airport is open. The Governor recently landed and is touring the area. Constitution was hit pretty hard. The new LEY market was destroyed, but the old Super Murillo market survived. Water and Electricity are out, but hopes are that both will be back in service by sometime tomorrow. Lots of home and building damage. There is a road passable between Mantancitas and Constitution. The Lopez Mateos - Mantancitas runway is not yet usable. Reports are that up to 90% of the structures in Lopez were damaged or destroyed. We have not been able to make contact with anyone at the Cannery yet. The La Purisima hill top strip is reported to be usable, but we have no word on town conditions.

Monday September 7, 2009

On Monday, September 7, the Mexican government
published a notice in the Official Daily of the Federation declaring the
municipalities of Los Cabos, La Paz, Comondú, Loreto and Mulegé,
in Baja California Sur, emergency areas due to the damages caused by
Hurricane Jimena.

In the wake of Hurricane Jimena, an estimated 35,000 people in central
Baja California, Mexico, are homeless and stranded without food, water
or power. Rescue efforts and communications are hampered by destroyed
airports, roads, bridges, power lines and cell phone towers.

Hurricane Jimena, a Category 3 storm, made landfall September 2 at
Magdalena Bay on the Pacific coast of Baja California Sur. It skirted
northward and crossed the peninsula toward Mulege and Santa Rosalia,
where it hovered for days over the west central Sea of Cortez. Central
Baja California suffered massive flash floods and mudslides, and Highway
1 is severed in many places. Flooding occurred as far east as Guaymas,
Sonora. Unusual for a cyclonic storm, the remnants of Jimena moved south and (west) down the Sea of Cortez (and into San Ignacio) before petering out.

Without airports and roads, damage assessment couldn't begin until
Sunday, September 6, when the Ciudad Constitución runway was
repaired. Baja California Sur governor Narcisco Agundez Montaño and
officials of the Baja California Civil Protection agency and Mexico Red
Cross (Cruz Roja) inspected some of the devastated areas and flew over
others. Baja California Sur was declared a natural disaster and funds
were released to speed recovery. Lacking electricity, shelters in
central Baja California Sur were already overwhelmed with displaced
families and had run out of water, food and basic medical supplies.

Severe damage occurred at Isla Magdalena, Santa Maria Bay, Puerto Lopez Mateos, Puerto San Carlos, Punta Abreojos, San Ignacio Lagoon, Ciudad Constitución, Villa Insurgentes, Comondu, Loreto airport, Mulege,
Santa Rosalia and San Ignacio, according to the Baja California Civil
Protection agency. Highway 1 is severed in many places, and large
bridges are washed out. The US State Department warned tourists not to
attempt to drive down Baja California.

One death is confirmed in Mulege, but more are expected to be reported as relief workers reach isolated areas by air and sea later this week.

After flying over Puerto Lopez Mateos, members of the Baja Bush Pilots,
a private organization, reported that half the cannery buildings were
destroyed, all wood homes were flattened, and a quarter of the
population is homeless. Earlier reports said 750 homes were lost in that
town, and that the desalination plant at the cannery was destroyed, so
the municipality had no water. Earlier reports said the two isolated
fishing villages on the barrier island of Isla Magdalena no longer

A Telemundo news team traveling with the Baja California governor
reported that the last message from Puerto San Carlos on Magdalena Bay
came from a police officer just prior to the hurricane's landfall,
saying the town of San Carlos could not be evacuated because the isthmus
roadway had been breached by flood waters.

Following Jimena's path, Punta Abreojos village and Laguna San
Ignacio (whale park) took a direct hit by Jimena's eye wall as a
Category 2 hurricane. A resident of the Pacific coast fishing village
of Bahia Asuncion reported that her village fared well but that Abreojos
village and San Ignacio Lagoon were badly damaged.

Up on Baja California's central mesa, in the large agricultural
towns of Ciudad Constitución and Villa Insurgentes, 70% to 90% of the
buildings (homes, businesses) were reported as destroyed or not
habitable. The mayor's office in Constitución requested medical
supplies, food and water.

The airport at Constitución has been repaired and opened on Monday,
September 7, so emergency supplies are being air lifted there,
coordinated by the Baja California Civil Protection agency, the Baja
Bush Pilots, and the Flying Samaritans. Emergency supplies will be
distributed to outlying villages as roads are repaired.

Puerto Escondido reported no injuries, all the marina moorings held, a
few API moorings dragged. A few attended boats chafed through their own
mooring lines or dragged anchor but were assisted by the marina staff
and fellow yatistas. A few unattended boats did drag ashore, mostly into
mangroves. Loreto airport was damaged and closed, but officials said
power may be restored to Loreto on Saturday, September 12. The highway south toward Constitución was washed out, many bridges gone, but recent reports say it is passable to La Paz.

In Mulege: a 75-year old man drowned when floodwaters filled his home.
Mulege residents are reporting worse damage than from Hurricane John in
2006. The highway bridge was 6 feet under raging torrents when the flash
flood crested, but that bridge is still standing. All Mulege homes along
the river were flooded, about half were destroyed. The fire station had
2 feet of water inside, and throughout the town many roofs are gone and
home walls collapsed. All Mulege grocery stores were flooded, and locals
are asking for emergency food & water. Mulege shelters are overwhelmed
by homeless Jimena victims, so people are sleeping in cars.

All homes on Punta Chivato were flooded and damaged, some destroyed. A pilot living at Punta Chivato reported that one unpaved airstrip has
been repaired for emergency landings.

Santa Rosalia's downtown area was devastated by flash floods (water,
mud and debris) that scoured the central canyon, washing cars and
drowned livestock out to sea. The older Marina Santa Rosalia was
destroyed except for two slips. The Singlar marina reported to be OK, no
boats or docks sunk. Yatistas said it rained heavily for 48 hours
straight. One person is reported missing from a fishing village north of
Santa Rosalia, according to the Baja California Civil Protection agency.





Deluge rainfall is commonplace in Baja California.

During a common tropical weather season, Baja California Mexico can be deluged under a seasonal chubasco or hurricane. A chubasco is really just a short, heavy storm, bursting with rainfall. The winds from the storms are damaging, but heavy rainfall most affects land travel in the desert.

Though, we have seen a truck, south of Los Planes, after a hurricane rolled through, which had been completely sand blasted on one side. 100 mile per hour wind, picked up the beach sands and removed every inch of paint. (But, that's another Baja story, for later)

The rainfall record in Baja Mexico occurred just north of Cabo San Lucas, with 24 inches of rainfall in an eight hour period, falling during a hurricane. Yup. That's why when you look at the local mountains, they look like they've been ripped apart by water blasting. Because, they have.

The local arroyos need to run with water before road travel conditions become hazardous. That takes alot of rain. Then, soon after the flooding, road travel in in the Baja deserts can resume. These seasonal, tropical storms are great at keeping the dust down.

What does this have to do with racing, desert racing? Well, ask any Baja old-timer how many times they've been stranded or washed out by a Baja flood. Getting stranded or washed out by a rain storm in Baja is a very common occurrence. During or just prior to race events they can cause great havoc.

Just ask Ivan Stewart. When he brought his ProTrucks down to La Paz for a shortcourse event some time ago, they met up with a hurricane about halfway down the peninsula. They were laid up on the way down, until the arroyos went down. Mulege was devastated. As were several other Baja Mexico hamlets.

The streambeds most impacted are the ones without bridges, the ones you have to cross on the actual bed of the arroyo. South of La Paz, the Baja Sur government wisely spent millions of pesos to build substantial bridges over the large, rain swollen prone arroyos.

Why? Because the rains impacted tourism so much during the rainy season, before the bridges, at times, the resorts had to put their guests on the resorts fishing cruisers to get the guests to the airports, so that they could make their flights on time. All of the local roads would be impassable during heavy storms.

So much so, that the locals, during the rainy season, keep their cars and trucks well supplied, just in case they have to wait alongside a running arroyo, waiting for the water to go down.

That's why in the desert, when you're crossing some of the bigger "vados" or stream beds, you'll see the four and five foot high "rulers" stuck in the sands. That tells you how deep the water is, when it comes.

One of the best parties we've been to in Baja was a Baja flood stranding.

South of La Paz, a road crossing arroyo was running high with water after a chubasco. Five feet of fast running, muddy water. Everbody pulls over, opens up their trunks or reach into the bed of their truck and the party begins. Music, beer and lots of food.

Cooking, laughing and beer. Instant Baja social. All on the spot, like it was planned. After 6 hours, one truck notices the water is going down, one guy crosses and its a rush to get to the other side. One or two vehicles always get stuck in the middle of the stream and everybody helps to get them out.

Party over.

September is the month that your chances of getting hit by a Baja flood, south of G. Negro is highest. Keep your eyes peeled south this month.

Click Here for all the race updates for the upcoming Mexican 1000 Rally.

Remember our little friend, Hurricane John, from 2006? CLICK HERE

Courtesy Baja Weather Service