Lopez Mateos, BCS
Hurricane Jimena Crisis Report Site

Page updated: 2009-10-04 20:20 MDT

Tropical Hurricane Jimena took form as a tropical storm around Saturday, August 29, over the Pacific Ocean off of Acapulco, Mexico and for the next few days moved north-north-west towards the tip of the Baja California Peninsula, gaining size and strength; there was major concern that it might hit the Los Cabos Cape Region as a category 4 hurricane, but it hooked slightly westward, generally clearing the Cape and La Paz region, before veering back north and making landfall early the morning of Wednesday, September 2nd over Magdalena Bay as a category 2 hurricane, (sustained winds of over 100mph with gusts much higher).

The center of the storm ripped through Pacific coastal communities including Santa Margarita, Puertos San Carlos and López Mateos with devastating winds combined with torrential rain, continuing northward with somewhat tempered hurricane force and substantial moisture across the Peninsula to Santa Rosalía and Mulegé, eventually dumping most of its remaining moisture over the Guaymas area on the Mexican mainland.

All areas on the storm path suffered major damage. Mulegé has perhaps received the most international exposure, due to its location on tourist routes, large foreign community and the unfortunate circumstances: Jimena hung around and dumped massive amounts of water on the town and into the mountains feeding the Mulegé river drainage, causing major destruction to those homes built in the "hundred-year" flood plane, just three years after Hurricane John did the same in 2006.

In addition to the heroic efforts of the Mexican Army, Red Cross, CFE (Power company) and other national agencies, international efforts were soon rallied for substantial air support and material aid for Mulegé and surrounding communities, due to their higher international profile.

The Pacific side, severely impacted by the higher winds at landfall, has been notoriously absent from the international news, and has received little outside attention.