Monday, August 26, 2013


That was the question we were asking ourselves early Saturday morning when the rain really started coming down here in Loreto Bay. 

Our home owner association put in a new drain to keep the Paseo that runs through the community (and right in front of our house) from flooding every time it rains. Even as little as an inch of rain resulted in road flooding. But in Baja we don't get just an inch of rain, we get a deluge of biblical proportions and Tropical Storm Ivo really delivered on that for us this past weekend.
Before the drain started draining
Initially, the drain didn't work, but after a couple of hours the water went rushing into the drain and right into the little lake where the storm drain ends. Of course, all that water coursing into the little lake turned it into a pretty damn big lake and the overflow combined with incoming rushing rain wrecked some new landscaping that was put in just a few months ago.

Yay! The drain starts draining

Damage to new landscaping by runoff lake
Our courtyard fountain served as our own personal rain gauge and we watched all day as the dry fountain base filled up with water. When all was said and done we got something over nine inches of precipitation. That's a lot in one day and rivals what happened last year during one big rain in August. 

But this time the damage was even worse. Our house survived the pounding rain with just a few leaks here and there, but our car wasn't so lucky. We met some friends at the Wine Cellar here in Loreto Bay for drinks and dinner and by the time we drove home at 8:15 that night the Paseo was pretty much free of standing water. Yippee, we thought! It worked. Just to be on the safe side, though, we parked a little north of our house in a spot that was on higher ground. 

Around 11 p.m. we heard all kinds of car alarms going off, so we rushed outside and saw our SUV in water almost to the top of the tires. OMG. Cars all along the Paseo were flooded with the smaller cars up to their hoods in water.
Our trusty Xterra drowning!
George decided to try to move the car, but that wasn't going to happen. He ended up getting stuck inside and I had to wade out in water to my waist (!!!) to get the keys from him to open the back hatch so he could get out. 

All along the Paseo that same scene was being played out as other residents tried to salvage their vehicles. Good grief. It was an incredible mess. A grand total of six vehicles in Loreto Bay were flooded on the Paseo.

We also heard that houses along the lake on the other side of the Paseo suffered a lot of water damage when the lake overflowed it's banks.

We don't know why the drain stopped working, but it obviously couldn't handle that amount of rainfall.  It was certainly more rain than we could handle.

The next day we found out that the roads both north and south of us were closed due to rock slides and collapsed sections of paving. Amazingly, though, our insurance company managed to get an agent into the area and he confirmed what we already knew. Our car's electrical system was totally fried and so were we.

Section of collapsed roadway near Villa del Palmar
So now we have to wait for the road to La Paz to reopen, so our car can be towed there and the insurance company can makes its final determination. We're looking at 20 days or more before we know anything. 

So, what does any good Loretano do when disaster hits? We have a party, of course! Waffles and Bloody Marys and beer were on the menu, along with the latest rumors and a lot of laughter. News that the main water line in Loreto was down put something of a damper on the festivities, but here in Loreto Bay we're served by a storage tank that might see us through until the line is fixed if we're careful and conserve. 

Our plan to drive to San Diego on Wednesday has been scrapped. We need a new car and we need it fast, so we're probably going to fly to the States, buy a new car and, with any luck at all, we'll be able to enjoy the house we rented for the month in balmy San Diego. 

Honestly, though, we were so much luckier than some. Our insurance agent told us that 15 cars and several houses in the Zaragosa community of Loreto were apparently swept into the sea. 

It's sunny and dry today and the water has receded leaving lots of mud and debris on the road and walkways. But, hey, at least we don't have to wade across the street! The really bad news is that we might be in for more rain at the end of the week. Bummer.

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