In 1977 a fully formed deadly hurricane tore north up the Sea of Cortez and didn't crap out until reaching Desert Hot Springs California. I was living in a desert house north of Indio California. It was late October and I was just packing up my gear for a five year tour in Iran. The torrential rains caused flash floods that took out almost every road in or out of the Coachella Valley. Boulders the size of houses rolled down the canyons on the sides of the Santa Rosa Mountains. Dozens of big bucks homes in Palm Springs, La Quinta and Cathedral City were crushed by the boulders and others filled to the roofs with sand and mud. The normally dry sand and rock Whitewater River developed into a record breaking flash flood that took out dozens of homes and golf course buildings from Palm Springs down to Indio. Every road that crossed it was washed out for weeks.
As I recall the water level of the Salton Sea was raised by four feet or more inundating every dock and marina for years afterward. Dillon Road north of Indio was washed out in at least twenty dips and culverts some of the drop offs were fifteen feet deep. Those raging flash flooded gullies destroyed the Los Angeles Aqueduct in a dozen places actually ripping the fifteen foot diameter concrete pipes out of their rock bound structure.
The shack that we lived in was just a few hundred feet off of Dillon Road. The winds blew out almost every window glass. The shearing wind and rain blew like hell northwards for several hours then the eye of the hurricane passed over us with an eerie dead still for and hour or more. Then the wind and rain resumed blasting southwards for several more hours.
We had no electricity for more than a week, luckily we had a five hundred gallon water tank on stilts that we survived on. I had two vehicles, a Volvo hot rod sedan and a Toyota Landcruizer. We were able to poke our way overland in the Landcruizer to get supplies in Indio. Interstate 8 was washed out in many places from Plaster City west to Jacumba. The traffic was routed through Mexicali BC then to Ensenada BC then back to San Diego.
By the way, this was not the 1000 year flood as being pitched by the media right now relating to the Death Valley rains. A storm like that could occur during any monsoon season especially if the hurricane gets itself into the Sea of Cortez with 90 degree water temps and 90% humidity which are ideal conditions for a killer storm to develop.
In 1977 Penasco was just a tiny fishing village probably not even one multi story shack in town. One can only imagine the devastation when such a storm like that comes barreling through...........and IT WILL mark my words!
"You can't fool Mother Nature"
JJ, I hope to share a cold beverage with you. Your stories are intriguing.