Senor and Linda Lou have been in Pueblo Alamos, Sonora, Mexico for 10 years.
Every day brings a new discovery.
They are still working on the casa............Senor says, it won't be long.........but Linda Lou says, it won't be long until what..............stay tuned to find out what's next.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Jimena, Jimena, Texas, Texas.........

buenas tardes, everyone..................we have just returned from a wonderful family reunion in Texas, but first, I know alot of poeple are wondering about Alamos and if it was affected by Hurricane Jimena.

Alamos was untouched by the hurricane and received very little rain or wind. We were, of course not here, so my reports are based on accounts from neighbors, postings on the Alamos websites from people who were here and of course, how things looked when we returned.

Unfortunately, residents of Guaymus, Empalme and San Carlos, and many other towns along the Sea of Cortez and inland, were not so lucky. You can read some of those reports from several of the blogs we follow (listed on the right of the blog) and from residents of those towns at the Mexico My-Space website.

We started traveling south on Friday morning. We went through customs without any problems, as usual. I just closed my eyes when Senor stopped to wait for the light to turn red. This time, one of the new college educated border agents gestured for us to pull into the bay, which much to my chagrin, Senor did.

The agent asked us, in perfect English, where we had been and where we were going. Senor, who will not miss a chance to practice his Spanish, gave him all the answers and the agent asked if he could look inside the truck, which he did. He asked if we had anything to declare and we said no.

He asked why we were traveling on this day......the road is closed ahead.................closed?..................yes, because of Jimena, 15 is closed after will stay the night in Hermosillo..................okay, we said, and he waved us through.

We got to Hermosillo, had lunch and decided the road looked pretty good to us, traffic was moving and surely, if the road was closed, someone here would be telling us so?

The picture below could have been taken one hundred times over the next three hours and it would look the same.......................the people might come and go, but the line lasted for miles ahead.

Senor has tired of walking and talking and is bug watching now in the photo below.

On one of his walks he is told by a group of mexican men that the road is washed out ahead. They say there is a dam up in the hills and before Jimena could make landfall, 'someone' decided to open the dam and release alot of water to minimize any flooding Jimena might cause. The plan has backfired or fired back, Senor is not sure which it is.

We discuss whether to turn around and go back to Hermosillo or stay in the line. We note there is no traffic coming north.

Suddenly, after almost three hours, we see everyone is running to their cars and trucks and buses and we all make a surge southward for about three miles and we stop, and we wait and we surge forward again two more times, only to stop and wait.

Finally we are in Guaymus and it is a terrible mess. Like last year's Julio, Jimena has covered Guaymus in mud and water, uprooted trees and downed stop signs, but we have arrived a day after the destruction and clean up has already begun in the city.

It is outside the city, in slow moving stop and go traffic, that we are guided to the north bound lanes. We continue south and begin to see some of the terrible damage that has yet to be accessed. Sometimes we are driving on what is left of the highway..........very narrow strips.

Sometimes, we are turned back slowly to a southbound lane while northbound traffic is pushed through.

Many of the small bridges are washed away completely or partially. There is alot of asphalt broken and laying across the roads and fields.

Standing water and rushing water are along the highway.

We think the photo below is the water mark; it was evident along the shrubs and trees nearby as well.

We saw many stranded semi trucks along the way and several long lines of chain reaction collisions.

Below, we are waiting to cross the narrow strip between Guaymus and Empalme. For most of the distance we traveled in the north bound lanes. The traffic stretched all the way across the narrow causeway and beyond.

Most of the road, on either side, looks like it does below.

It took us 8 hours to travel from Hermosillo to Empalme. That is normally an hour to an hour and a half drive.
We broke Rule #1 by driving late into the dark, to reach Obregon, where we stayed for the night, along with many other weary travelers. Watching the news in our hotel room last night, I thought of many, many people who probably spent the night in their cars and trucks, along the highway. We were lucky.
So, we are very glad to be home. We did hear that there was some pre storm preparation. Some of the barrios in Alamos were evacuated and shelters were set up at Cobash, the high school. Thankfully, our town, which was hit so hard last October by Norbert, is allright.
And we hope the clean up for the communities north of us will go quickly.
Now, briefly on to Texas!
We did have a great time and the weather was perfect for our visit!
My dad, the famous official loon carver for the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin and Michigan, is on the left, my mom, Hi MoM!!!! is in the middle and our daughter, the way, my dad is already taking loon orders for the 2010 summer season and you can actually order through me, if you want, or wait and buy up in the midwest.................

My little sister, Kax, who is always on the go and while we were there, was going too fast one night, and fell and broke her tail bone, and had to sit out the rest of the reunion on a dough-nut pillow.
My little brother, George, the famous bass player for Black Oak Arkansas, is tuning up my Gibson 12-string by the pool while his grandson, Eli, watches with a mouth full of candy.
And a quick hello to our little brother Paul, who was stuck in New York, filming the demolition and explosives scenes for a movie that will be out in the spring......................
And last, but not least...................KD and Ian in disguise below..................hoping I will not blog this photo...................

and again, below...................... adios, linda lou!!!


Linda Lou and Senor, Too said...

If you want to see more photos and accounts and links to Jimena, be sure to read Brenda and Bliss's blogs. They are on the right of our blog, on the drop down of blogs we like to read. Bliss has some very personal accounts of what is going on in San Carlos. The photo of the road in front of Charlie's Rock will break your heart.....And Brenda has a link to what is going on in Guaymus and Empalme.

Steve Cotton said...

Thanks for the update. You did such a good job reporting your hurricane last year, I knew you would be on top of this one. Nature's force can be awesome.

panoptica said...

This hurricane is ruining my reputation as a nice person. I swear it wasn't really my intention, I've just been having a few rough days lately, and now I hear of all this damage...

Sorry Linda...



Linda Lou and Senor, Too said...

Thank you, Steve, hopefully this will be the last??

JIMENA, you silly goose! I cannot tell you how many times I have thought of you in the last week....Jimena, jimena, jimena and of course, in the USA they do not pronounce it correctly, so you are off the hook.....LOLOLOL...LL

Jacqui said...

What a journey home, so glad you made it safely and your home is ok. It's such a shame for those folks whose homes have been affected. We have friends in Scotland and this weekend their village was flooded, roads & properties damaged, people evacuated - the weather can certainly be destructive.