- Associated Press - Friday, June 15, 2018

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Tropical Storm Bud left the Baja Peninsula early Friday and re-emerged over the Gulf of California after dumping heavy rains on the resorts of Los Cabos.

Mexico’s National Water Commission said that Bud made landfall later over Baja California Sur on Thursday night. On Friday morning, Bud had accelerated and was headed north toward the Mexican mainland at 13 mph (20 kph) still carrying sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Its center was about 60 miles (100 kilometers) north-northeast of La Paz, and the storm was forecast to weaken to a tropical depression as it moved toward the coast of the northern state of Sonora on Friday.

Bud lashed palms trees and its waves pounded the sand on the Baja Peninsula, where memories were still fresh of the extensive damage done in 2014 by a direct hit from Category 3 Hurricane Odile.

Hotel operators took no chances.

Workers at the Marquis Los Cabos hotel in San Jose del Cabo spent the last three days battening down the hatches - anchoring palm trees and using tarps to cover large windows that had all shattered during Odile.

Overall, however, there was a sense of relief that Bud had been sapped of most of its punch. It was previously a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (210 kph).

By Friday, wind speeds of 40 mph were strong enough to potentially still do some damage, but likely nothing resembling the devastation wrought by Odile four years ago.

Rodrigo Esponda, managing director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board, said measures had been put in place to protect the community and tourists before the tropical storm passed.

That meant securing outdoor furniture to keep it from being hurtled around by the winds, but not evacuations or putting guests in shelters.

“That is done when you have a hurricane that is Category 2 or 3 or more,” Esponda said.

Esponda said that in the wake of the 2014 hurricane, authorities reviewed storm protocols and made some changes such as outfitting certain officials with satellite phones to communicate no matter what. Authorities periodically review storm preparedness at hotels and ensure employees have the right training in how to react.

“There were many, many, many, many lessons learned after Hurricane Odile. … There could be some eventuality depending on mother nature, but the lessons are definitely there,” he said.

The hurricane center said Bud, the second named storm of the 2018 Pacific hurricane season, could cause dangerous surf and bring an additional 2 to 4 inches of rain to Sonora state and northwest Mexico, threatening floods and landslides.

Further down Mexico’s Pacific coast Friday, forecasters were watching a tropical depression with sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph) that was sitting stationary near Acapulco.

It was expected to reach the mainland as a tropical storm on Sunday and dump 4 to 6 inches of rain along the coast of Guerrero state, including Acapulco.


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