'Total Devastation': Powerful hurricane slams Cabo San Lucas
Hurricane Odile is the strongest storm to ever hit Mexico's southern Baja California peninsula.
(NBC News) - A ferocious hurricane slammed an upscale Mexican resort early Monday with 125 mph winds and six months' rain in just one hour. Hurricane Odile is the strongest storm to ever hit Mexico's southern Baja California peninsula. The Category 3 storm made a direct hit on Cabo San Lucas, a resort city popular with celebrities including George Clooney and Jennifer Aniston. Alongside the region's gleaming megaresorts are tiny fishing villages with flimsy homes, and Mexican authorities evacuated coastal areas and readied shelters for up to 30,000 people.
Josh Morgerman, a Californian storm chaser, said his Cabo hotel "lobby exploded in heap of rubble." Writing on Twitter, Morgerman said he "escaped by crawling, scampering, running." Chelsea Ballenberger, a nurse from Alabama holidaying in the nearby city of La Paz, said she was forced to take refuge in the shower when her room flooded. "As soon as we moved to the shower the windows shattered," she wrote on Facebook. "We can hear the wind howling everywhere… Definitely the scariest thing I have ever been through." Jason T Vogt, a Canadian expat, simply described the scene as "total devastation" in a Facebook post.
Weather Channel digital meterologist Nick Wiltgen said he was monitoring "mind-boggling" reports of 11 inches of rain in just one hour — almost the region's yearly average of 13 inches. While this measurement could be due to storm-damaged equipment, he said reports of seven inches were believable. "If past reports are anything to go by the most serious damage will be revealed when it gets light." The storm was bearing down on the 200,000 city of La Paz at 5.30 a.m. ET but is expected to weaken as it heads up the peninsula through Tuesday. "Odile will induce a moisture surge into the Southwestern U.S. as soon as Tuesday, which could result in locally heavy rain and flash flooding," The Weather Channel reported.
Sunday, August 20 2017 10:42 PM EDT2017-08-21 02:42:12 GMT
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