Hurricane Odile, now a weaker tropical storm, moved up into Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula on Tuesday, bringing with it heavy rainfall that could cause severe flash flooding and mudslides. Tens of thousands of tourists were being put up in temporary shelters and hotels in the affected area with some being flow to nearby airports. Odile made landfall Sunday near Cabo San Lucas as a Category 3 hurricane before it weakened. It took down many trees and signs along its path, broke windows, overturned vehicles and caused widespread flooding. Nearly 250,000 people in Baja California Sur were left without power as thousands of homes and businesses were devastated by the storm.
Many of the affected homes and businesses were completely demolished by Odile, reducing them to shells where only the core structures were intact. As Odile left a wake of destruction in its path, it is now threatening to cause widespread flooding in America’s Southwest. Forecasters say that rain from the storm could bring flooding to Tucson and other parts of the Southwest this week. Odile is expected to dump up to six inches of rain but local amounts of 10 inches are possible inf the foothills of the mountains. The rain may be so heavy that it comes down at a rate of up to 2 inches per hour.
Odile is posing a significant risk to both property and lives in places like Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque and El Paso. On top of flash and urban flooding, the storm could cause major river flooding that could affect hundreds of thousands of people. The tropical storm could cause water to move through normally dry river beds, sending it rushing into towns and cities very rapidly. The biggest risk of widespread flooding in the Southwest will be from early Wednesday into Thursday night. However, continued heavy rainfall and thunderstorms will continue into the weekend which could cause more flooding in isolated areas.
The National Weather Service has issued flash flood watches for several states as the storm is zeroing in on the Southwest. People living in portions of Southern California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas are being told to be prepared to evacuate if necessary by the NWS. That part of the United States is still recovering from Hurricane Norbert that struck last week. Officials are telling people that the new flooding could cause dangerous debris flows. Some US forecasters are saying that there is a potential for devastating, catastrophic and historic flooding in the Southwest as Odile is expected to dump a tremendous amount of rain over a large area of the Southwestern United States.
For help with flood damage cleanup to Tucson and surrounding areas in AZ, count on the Arizona Restoration Pros to assist with water removal and structural drying.