A Frisco couple is back home after surviving Hurricane Odile, and their six-day odyssey to get back to North Texas.
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It was meant to be a romantic getaway in the Pacific resort of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, but shortly after it started, Rachel and Jamey Bellan had to hunker down to ride out the storm. Their nightmare began when water started rushing into their room.
“It was just one of those things where you thought it was going to be the end of your life… you really did,” Rachel said.
They weren’t hurt, but they shared smartphone video that shows their soaked room with blown-out windows, and pillows as their only protection. Odile stripped the hotel of all ways to communicate, so the Bellans said the hotel made the decision on to get them out.
“Their only alternative was to load us up on buses and drive up north to Southern California and get across the border and get to San Diego,” Jamey said.
That meant a packed blue bus, with little food and water, traveling along a two-lane Baja California highway. They admit they were afraid, especially when found the road was blocked in a small town.
“It was raining up in the mountains from the storm, and the heavy river stream had taken out the road, so this entire roadway had submerged into this river,” Jamey said.
The busload of tourists, feeling vulnerable, sat for 30 hours waiting for water to recede. That’s when the Bellans said their real saviors emerged — not the government, but the townspeople.
“They were making us food, coffee, hot dogs, tacos… they were providing everything to us,” Rachel said. “They didn’t even have anything, and they did everything they could.”
One man took a chance with his own bulldozer, and that changed everything.
“He put that into the river — not knowing if it was going to fry out, if he was going to lose his own equipment — and he was doing it to get us across the river and back to our families and back to the U.S.,” Jamey said.
The bus arrived in San Diego on Friday night, and the Bellans got back home on Saturday, full of perspective…and gratitude.
“The people that we feared most are the people that ended up saving our lives,” Jamey said.
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“We’re just so happy to be back,” Rachel added.
And they’re glad to have their two little girls back in their arms.