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Water Spout Said to Hit San Juan Cosala, Lots of Damage
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A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!


Visit Expedia…

Expedia is my favorite place to book airfare, and they handle hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc. I like the organization of the site for figuring out what flights I want. Click on the suitcase to take a look.

I was very pleased to win an award for this blog! Even better for you: click through for lists of all sorts of award-winning travel blogs.

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

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This morning around 5:30 it got to raining extra hard for a while. I was semi-awake, listening to the sound of the rain on our roof. It’s a sound we’ve heard a lot for weeks now, in this unusually wet rainy season. I dozed off again. It was raining more lightly when we got up, and Kelly and I commented to each other on the roaring sound we heard, like a river nearby. We decided we’d go out with cameras a bit later. The ground was already saturated before this.

Then a young man we know came by to borrow our wheelbarrow and a shovel. He said a number of houses a little further west had been badly damaged and he’d be over there helping. (We live above the highway in San Juan Cosala, on the western side of the town.)

Our house and yard are just fine, other than a couple of minor leaks and some mud in our overflowing swimming pool. But once we started walking around, we realized that the river-like roar we had heard was indeed a river, albeit a temporary one, running down a street near us. People told us it had been a couple of feet deep.

Here, men help to dig out a truckon that street as a its owner watches. (I’m behind her.)

Further down this street (Calle Vicente Guerrero Norte), there’s an arroyo that comes into the street, normally quite a lot lower than the street. It had over two meters of debris completely blocking the street. The people walking down the street were in several inches of water.

The water coming down the street had met this debris from the arroyo and backed up to form a temporary lake on the street, which then flooded some homes up to about a foot. Here, shoes are drying out on a car:

We walked uphill to go see a house which had had its foundations dug out from underneath it by the river of water coming down. We weren’t permitted to get close enough to get any photos, but I did ask if the people were okay and was told yes.

So then we walked around more or less directly below that house to a new development, Yesterday, you would have seen attractively cobbled streets with sidewalks:

There’s a tiny white speck in the hills to the right of the lampost. That’s a waterfall that isn’t usually there.

We had power early in the morning, lost it for a few hours, and then regained it. From talking with people on the street and with a couple of friends on the phone, I learned that there was heavy rain and flooding all along the north shore of Lake Chapala, but San Juan Cosala evidently had the worst of it.


There is a phenomenon–relatively rare, I believe–where a waterspout of water from Lake Chapala comes over to the mountains and dumps its load… a LOT of water in a short time. It seems that this was the case between 5 and 6 this morning. The Raquet Club, which is east of us and generally higher up, evidently got quite a hit, but I don’t know how many houses were affected. Some of the waterspout water may have also been what hit our area and further west.

I want to get this post up in case the power goes out again, will continue with more in another post shortly.

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