Hurricane Jimena

The storm has been tearing off roofs, knocking down power poles and bringing welcome rainfall to the drought-stricken state Wednesday. The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the center of the storm made landfall between Puerto San Andresito and San Jaunico during the past few hours. Winds have fallen from Tuesday's roaring 150 mph (240 kph) Category 4 blasts.
The Hurricane Center says the storm is expected to weaken more as it runs up the Baja peninsula, which is home to about 3.5 million people. That includes more than 150,000 U.S. citizens.
The picturesque beach resorts of Los Cabos were mostly spared overnight, when the roaring hurricane toppled signs, choked streets with mud and knocked out power, but did little serious damage. No injuries were reported. Winds fell from Tuesday's roaring 150 mph (240 kph) Category 4 blasts to 90 mph (145 kph), making Jimena a Category 1 storm. The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said it was expected to weaken further as it runs up the Baja peninsula, which is home to about 3.5 million people, including more than 150,000 U.S. citizens, according to the U.S. State Department. As of late morning, Jimena's center was just southwest of Puerto San Andresito, according to the center.
Winds damaged some homes in the small farming city of Ciudad Constitucion, Baja California Sur Gov. Narciso Agundez told the Cabo Mil radio station.
In Los Cabos, Ariel Rivero, 49, a fishing boat captain who grew up in Long Beach, California, and moved here 30 years ago, surveyed the marina where his boat, the Great Escape, was undamaged.
"We really lucked out," Rivero said. "If it had hit Cabo head on, this place would have been a disaster," he said of the hundreds of tightly packed boats, some worth millions, and the surrounding resort hotels now basking in the calm.
"All those windows would have blown out, (boat) cleats breaking, antennas breaking ... it would have been a disaster," Rivero said.
"Everyone is kind of breathing a sigh of relief," said Shari Bondy, who rents homes and runs a campground with her family in the remote coastal fishing village of Bahia Asuncion, halfway up the peninsula from Los Cabos.
With the weakening storm expected to arrive there Thursday night, she said "everything is still all boarded up, roofs are tied down, everything is ready, but right now we have blue skies."
In the town of Mulege, midway up Baja's east coast, tour operator Salvador Castro Drew said locals are keeping a close watch on a flood-prone river. "We have some rain and some wind right now," he said, "but what we're worried about is when the rain comes down from the mountains."
Baja California Sur state Interior Secretary Luis Armando Diaz said he was still worried about the storm's strike along the coast further north, but he said Jimena could alleviate the state's drought. "If it continues like this, and there is not a major impact, it will help more than it will hurt," he said.
Forecasters predicted the hurricane would drop 5 to 10 inches (12 to 25 centimeters) of rain onto arid Baja deserts, and dry stream beds already were gushing torrents.
But Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen said Jimena would not bring much-needed rain to quench Southern California's wildfires, and will instead head back over the Pacific Ocean.
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