partlycloudy
Saturday July 4th, 2015 4:41PM

Storm reforms off Mexico, desperation in Acapulco grows

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) -- Desperation mounted Wednesday in the cut-off resort of Acapulco, where residents looted a store and thousands of exhausted, despondent tourists waited to be ferried out by air. The death toll in massive flooding in southern and central Mexico rose to 57.

Mexico was hit by the one-two punch of twin storms over the weekend, and the storm that soaked Acapulco on Sunday - Manuel -reformed into a tropical storm Wednesday as it swirled slowly off the Pacific coast on a path that that would take it over the resort of La Paz, on the Baja California peninsula, over the weekend.

With a tropical disturbance over the Yucatan Peninsula headed toward the same Gulf coast hit by Hurricane Ingrid, the country could face another double hit, just it struggles to restore services and evacuate those stranded by last weekend's flooding.

Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said 57 had been killed nationwide.

In Acapulco, gun-toting state police guarded the entrance to a partly flooded Costco store hours after people looted it on one of the city's main boulevards, carting off shopping carts full of food, clothing, and in some cases flat-screen TVs.

Hundreds of people waded through waist-high brown water in the store's parking lot on Wednesday, fishing out anything - cans of food or soda - that looters might have dropped. Others shouted for the now-shuttered store to be re-opened.

"If we can't work, we have to come and get something to eat," said 60-year-old fisherman Anastasio Barrera, as he stood with his wife outside the store. "The city government isn't doing anything for us, and neither is the state government."

With the twin roads from Acapulco to Mexico City closed down, at least 40,000 tourists saw a long holiday beach weekend degenerate into a desperate struggle to get weeping children, elderly parents and even a few damp, bedraggled dogs back home. Thousands of people, some sweating, profusely, waited in line Wednesday outside a shopping mall-convention center that was being used as a shelter and waiting area for flights out.

Two of Mexico's largest airlines were running about two flights an hour from Acapulco's still-flooded international airport, with priority for those with tickets, the elderly and families with young children.

Inside the shopping center, Omar Diaz, a 23-year-old window installer, waited with his wife, their 2-day-old baby and two other children on a foam mattress covered with a blanket. Their home was flooded and the few possessions they were able to save hung in plastic bags around their improvised bed.

His wife, Marisela Diaz, 24, gave birth to daughter Paula Jasmin shortly after Tropical Storm Manuel hit, but was asked to leave a local hospital "because there weren't enough beds," she said.

"We lost everything, our house, our bed, the fans, the refrigerator, the television," said Omar, but Marisela was just happy just to be safe with her newborn. "We're good here," she said.

Outside, those waiting in the enormous lines for an airplane ticket out weren't so lucky; they sweltered in the sun that had re-appeared after the storm.

Catalina Clave, 46, who works at the Mexico City stock exchange, sweated in the humid heat along with her husband and a group of friends who had been vacationing in Acapulco. Their excruciating wait had already stretched for two days.

"Forty-eight hours without electricity, no running water and now we can't get home," Clave said. "Now all I ask for is some shade and some information."

The government has promised to reopen the roads between Acapulco and Mexico City, but they were blocked by dozens of mudslides, rocks and collapsed tunnels, and the first provisional way out won't be ready for days, officials predict.

Some cash machines along Acapulco's coastal boulevard were low on bills, but most of the city's tourist zone appeared back to normal Wednesday, with roads clear, restaurants and hotels open and brightly lit and tourists strolling along the bay in an attempt to recover some of the leisure time lost to three days of incessant rains.

Gavin McLoughlin, 27, another teacher at Mexico City's Greengates School, said he went to Acapulco on a late-night bus Thursday with about 30 other teachers at the school, many of whom are in their 20s.

"We had no idea of the weather," the Englishman said. "We knew there was a hurricane on the other side but not this side."

City officials said about 23,000 homes, mostly on Acapulco's outskirts, were without electricity and water. Stores were nearly emptied by residents who rushed to stock up on basic goods. Landslides and flooding damaged an unknown number of homes.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Manuel was centered about 90 miles (145 kilometers) west of the port city of Mazatlan, with winds of 40 mph (65 kph), and was on a slow path that would take it to the southern Baja California peninsula, over the weekend.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 1 year ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 1 year ago )
U.S. News
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Draft accords of sanctions relief at Iran nuke talks in hand
VIENNA (AP) — World powers and Iran have drawn up a draft document on the pace and timing of sanctions relief for the Islamic republic in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear program, advancing on one...
2:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
Fireworks shoot into Colorado crowd; 9 suffer minor burns
AVON, Colo. (AP) — Officials say nine people suffered minor burns during an accident at a fireworks show in Colorado.Virginia Egger, the town manager in Avon, says a malfunction caused a fireworks she...
8:44AM ( 7 hours ago )
Federal report: Polar bears in peril due to global warming
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Polar bears are at risk of dying off if humans don't reverse the trend of global warming, a blunt U.S. government report filed Thursday said."The single most important step fo...
8:25PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest on train derailment: 5,000 evacuated in Tennessee
MARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — 6 p.m.An official in eastern Tennessee says smoke has stopped rising from the site where a CSX train car derailed and caught fire, forcing the evacuation of thousands of reside...
6:05PM ( 1 day ago )
Obama draws sharp contrasts with 'mean' Republicans
LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — Wading into presidential politics, President Barack Obama on Thursday promoted his brand of middle-class economics by drawing sharp contrasts with "mean" Republicans in a state...
5:36PM ( 1 day ago )