According to news reports, Hurricane Patricia grew into a monster Category 5 storm and bore down on Mexico’s central Pacific Coast. I’m thinking this storm will live up to the news prediction that it’s the worst storm in recorded Mexican history. This is going to be a messy storm. However, Edwin Shrake in his novel Borderland speaks of an even worse Mexican storm that happened in 1839. Here’s his opening prologue that mentions this 1839 storm:
Prologue from Borderland, a novel by Edwin Shrake
In February of 1839 a monster cyclone formed in the Pacific a thousand miles off the coast of Sinaloa and whirled counterclockwise toward the continent, tearing the ocean into waves eighty feet high that smashed over the beach at the village of Teacapan and flung boats into the mountains. Every human within five miles of Teacapan was drowned.
The storm collided with the Sierras at the ten-thousand foot peak of Yerba Buena. Wind ripped goats out of the rocks and hurled them down into the jungle Wooden crosses that had been planted by angels flew away from mountain passes they had guarded longer than emory. Settlements of Indians vanished forever. The storm poured seven feet of rain on the ancient town of Zacatecas, eight thousand feet high at the head of a valley. Barefoot friars huddled and prayed with their human and animal flocks inside the slate-roof buildings of the college as the silver mines flooded and thousands perished in the tunnels.
Hailstones the size of grapefruits crushed the mud and timber breastworks of the rebels at Guanajuato and left them to be slaughtered by the soldiers of lone-legged Santa Anna. The storm turned north and battered Monclova and the old capital city of Saltillo with gale and lightning. Leaving tornadoes drumming the campo, the storm rumbled across the Rio Grande and struck fresh warm clouds blowing in from the Gulf of Mexico. The Pacific storm and the Gulf clouds merged into two hundred miles of blackness above the western mountains and central hills of Texas, where heat rose from limestone cliffs to spark the coming deluge that gathered itself, growing and brooding over the Colorado River valley.