Most of the remaining Americans left stranded in Mexico's Los Cabos resort in the aftermath of Hurricane Odile were finally on their way home Saturday, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico said. Officials didn't provide exact numbers of how many people remain trapped in the ravaged resort, which was decimated by Odile's 125 mph winds last weekend. U.S military planes were sent for a handful of Americans, but many who were left behind worried about looters, the lack of cellphone service and lawlessness, and some left on their own, any way they could.
“I live in Lake Arrowhead, California. I have been a firefighter for 30 years and even with all the fires, floods, earthquakes I have responded, I have never seen this kind of widespread devastation,” said Mat Fratus, who left Cabo on Thursday.
The U.S. Embassy assured travel-weary tourists that "anyone remaining in the area who wishes to leave should be able to find a flight out of the area." But many who were trying to get out this week complained about the lack of immediate aid from U.S. officials. Some griped that they were going to be charged $600 for chartered flights back home through the U.S. government.
“We were very lucky and an Alaska Airlines worker found our little group and pulled us out and said we shouldn’t have to pay to get home [because we bought round-trip tickets],” Brenda Baldwin, of Portland, Oregon, told NBC News. “We boarded the last flight out of Cabo last night. The staff and workers from Alaska [Airlines] ... were awesome and we are all treated like first-class passengers.”
With Los Cabos still recovering, more bad weather is expected to brush the greater Baja peninsula on Saturday night. Tropical Storm Polo is expected to remain off-shore, but will likely bring winds of 50 mph when it approaches La Paz on Saturday night, the National Weather Service said. Part of the Baja California peninsula could also see up to 5 inches of rainfall, which the NWS warned could result in "life-threatening floods and mud slides."
- Americans Trapped in Cabo After Odile Describe Desperation, Danger
- What Made Hurricane Odile So Devastating?
- Hurricane Odile: Mexico Airlifts Stranded Tourists From Los Cabos
— Elisha Fieldstadt, Emmanuelle Saliba and Mark Potter