Into the Eye of Odile

Odile Up Close

Hurricane Odile making landfall.

During the second week of September, 2014, a Category 3 hurricane by the name of Odile had the tip of the Baja Peninsula in her sights. On the 14th, at approximately 11:30PM, she moved ashore and wreaked havoc. She was one of the strongest storms ever to make landfall on the peninsula and easily the strongest storm in recorded history ever to make a direct hit on Los Cabos. (The only storm comparable was Hurricane John, which in 2006, hit a much less populous area here in the East Cape where, in comparison, only a small number of people were affected). In her wake, Odile left two cites, Cabo San Lucas and especially San Jose del Cabo and their quarter of a million citizens without power, communications or running water. Because I live off-the-grid, I had power, running water, and even an Internet connection. Between here and town though, power poles and major electrical towers were downed everywhere, making it difficult or impossible to drive the local roads. Most homes had serious damage, especially those on the beachfront, which were inundated by a storm surge created by massive waves unheard of in the region. In the panic after the storm the stores were quickly emptied of any and all of their contents. With no way to resupply – the airport and roads were impassable – people who hadn’t prepared for the storm, or who lost everything, were left completely destitute. To quote six year old Lucas Nobili, Odile was “quite a bitch.”

Lucas Letter to Odile

English writing exercise by Lucas Nobili Photo: Pablo Nobili

The good news is that ten days after the storm hit, the citizenry of Los Cabos have restored order, begun a massive cleanup effort, and with the help of the federal electrical commission, power is being reconnected little by little, allowing stores to reopen.

My account of going through the storm, alone, has been published on an online magazine called The Scuttlefish. Check it out by clicking on the link below and let me know what you think.

Into the Eye of Odile on The Scuttlefish

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10 thoughts on “Into the Eye of Odile

  1. my island home was hit twice in two weeks -both category fours—-glad you made it through—hurricanes are very scary with devastating powers.
    i hope your electricity is on today! nice story Dawn– take care –be safe

  2. Hi Dawn!!What an amazing story–you have completely blown my mind.To know you were ALONE just felt like PURE TERROR!! Thank you for sharing this & I have fwd. it to all mt friends!! We return Oct, 28th & I hope to tqke you to lunch & hear more!! So grateful you are o.k!! Love,Jeannie

    Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2014 16:56:26 +0000 To: jeanniejelich@hotmail.com

    • Thank you so much for sharing my story with your friends Jeannie! I will look forward to getting caught up with you when you return next month. I too am so grateful that the storm was not worse, for myself and many others.

    • Thank you Katrina! I too am giving thanks daily…but also thinking about how to handle future major storm events. Bugging out is so NOT my style, but if it means the difference between living and dying…well, the course of action is obvious. The thought of leaving Felipe and the animals here is so painful. Perhaps I have to build a storm-proof shelter…underground me thinks.

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