VANCOUVER – The clean-up in Cabo San Lucas continues following Hurricane Odile, which hit the region in September.
The devastation was widespread but B.C. residents who live in Cabo or who have homes there say the clean-up effort has been amazing.
Teresa Tibbutt is from Vancouver, but owns a home in the Cabo San Lucas Corridor, about five-kilometres from downtown Cabo.
They arrived in the area last Sunday and Tibbutt said the difference between Cabo before the hurricane and after is quite alarming in some areas.
She said the airport, which was hit hard by the hurricane, smelled like stale water and pockets of mould were starting to grow on the walls.
“The drive from the airport to the house was shocking,” said Tibbutt in an email from Cabo. “Disturbing, frightening. We passed the Mercedes-Volkswagen dealership on the highway, it was completely toppled, nothing left but a large clean-up crew.”
“The once beautiful palm trees look wind-battered and lifeless.”
She said extensive water and wind damage is evident everywhere. Their home did not suffer too much but they are dealing with some water and roof damage.
GALLERY: Before and after photos, courtesy of Teresa Tibbutt.
Tibbutt said the first night they arrived in Cabo after the hurricane was scary and she could feel the despair from the locals. However, just weeks later the area is coming back to life.
“The clean-up is amazing,” she said. “They have worked so fast.”
“The military have brought in a very large, very loud back-up generator to power portions of the city. It sounds like a jet airplane.”
She said the biggest change now is that there are few residents around but workers are everywhere. “They are positive and determined to get Cabo back up and running,” she said.
But hearing stories about how the locals are coping is a very difficult thing said Tibbutt. A bartender at a hotel told them his whole house in El Pescadero was gone.
“He said it was so scary,”said Tibbutt. “They huddled in the corner as a family for five hours holding each other. He said ‘I want to forget about that night. I’d rather not talk about it’.”
But the biggest fear seems to be that the tourists will not return.
“They are afraid the tourists won’t come back and that is their livelihood,”said Tibbutt. “The biggest thing we can do is return and spend money.”
GALLERY: The clean-up continues (photos courtesy of Teresa Tibbutt):