Locals Return from Hurricane-Soaked Cabo San Lucas

What to Know

  • Seventh hurricane since 1971 to make landfall near Los Cabos, Mexico
  • Sustained winds of 78 mph, gust up to 116 mph recorded near Cabo San Lucas Tuesday
  • Continued northeast, bringing rain into parts of Arizona and New Mexico

San Diegans who survived Hurricane Newton’s damage in Cabo San Lucas returned to the U.S. Wednesday.

The category-2 hurricane knocked out power and grounded flights in and out of the resort town on Baja California Monday. Mexican government officials estimated 14,000 tourists were in the Cabo San Lucas Monday night. They were advised to stay in their hotels.

“Our room was only a little bit leaking, our friends whole room started to flood," said Brian Jong and Shannon Shih.

They’re just a few of the San Diegans returning from vacation in Cabo San Lucas sharing stories of survival.

They rode out the storm as the hurricane winds tossed patio furniture into pools, downed trees and wreaked havoc while knocking out power.

“They told us stay away from doors and windows," said Gabby Hadjis of her resort.

“We were helping each other, holding each other we were scared,” said cousins Arman and Hayk Nalbandyan

Two years ago the area was hit by the much more powerful Hurricane Odile. Though Newton was weaker, Keri Wilson was painfully aware of the realities after surviving both.

“It’s still scary no matter what because you don't know what's going to happen. You don't know what nature is going to do,” she said.

At least two people were killed in a capsized boat.

Mexican soldiers took to boats checking flooded neighborhoods. Some residents were forced to seek safety in temporary shelters.

Gabby Hadjis and friends gave locals food after the destruction they saw. She shared pictures of boarded-up buildings.

“We didn’t feel in danger,” Hadjis said about the storm. “But we went to town later and that’s when you see a lot of homes, shacks were down. Lots of palm trees down. Mud everywhere."

“It’s scary because of the noises and sound and power is still out at our house. It’s been shut down and boarded. No lights and water. I can’t stay there,” said Keri Wilson.

Three Alaska Airlines flights flew in from Los Cabos after the airport reopened. The airline says more than 300 San Diego-bound travelers were affected by the cancellations. They say they’ve made more seats available on the flights Wednesday and Thursday to help bring people home.

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