Storm wreaks havoc on Tijuana, kills 3, floods migrant camp

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TIJUANA (Border Report) — The Civil Defense Department within the city of Tijuana is reporting three people were killed in a powerful storm that hit the region on Tuesday.

The rain also stifled traffic on flooded streets.

And nine transformers malfunctioned during the storm, cutting power to close to 200,000 residents,

Rafael Carrillo Venegas, Chief of Tijuana’s Fire Department, said one of the deaths occurred when a 45-year-old woman was swept into a storm drain as she tried to cross the street.

Cars stuck in flooded Tijuana street. (Courtesy Tijuana’s Civil Defense Department)

Her body was recovered in a canal not too far away.

Another victim, a man between 50 and 60 years of age, was also swept by a strong current in a culvert and drowned.

Part of a roof collapsed at a Tijuana strip mall killing one man and injuring several others. (Courtesy: Yolanda Morales)

The third victim died in the rubble after part of a strip mall-roof collapsed during the storm.

City of Tijuana crews arrive to evacuate migrants from campsite located just south of the San Diego-Tijuana border. (Jorge Nieto/Special for Border Report)

The intense rain also flooded a migrant campsite just south of the San Ysidro Port of Entry where approximately 400 people are living in tents.

“We have tents, but the water still gets into everything,” said Eladio in Spanish.

Alexander Perez chose to be evacuated from migrant campsite. (Jorge Nieto/Special for Border Report)

City crews arrived with several shuttles in an effort to evacuate the migrants to a shelter, including Alexander Perez.

“With the water rising and cold weather, and someone says ‘Let’s go to a shelter where we will feed you,’ I had to go,” Perez said in Spanish.

But Perez was only one of seven migrants who chose to go.

“After getting there, they will be sent to the streets,” Juan Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez, a migrant from Honduras, said he was skeptical after hearing from others that shelters are kicking people out after three days.

“Three days, that’s all, then you’re on the streets sleeping on top of others who were also told to leave,” he said.

The city of Tijuana admitted there are temporary shelters that only house people for a few days, but that the shelter where they were taking migrants from the camp has no such policy.

It said crews will be back next week when another storm is expected to drench the area.

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