More Rain Expected As The Storm Moves Inland
Cancun experienced some minor flooding this week as Hurricane Agatha grew from a Category One storm into a Category two. Further rain and intense wind are expected further in the week.
Agatha is the first named storm of the season and had developed in the Pacific over the weekend, approaching the mainland of Mexico. Although Cancun and the rest of Quintana Roo are not in its direct path, it was expected that the state would feel the effects of the storm.
More alarming is the storm’s growth to a category two. This is the earliest a category two hurricane has hit mainland Mexico, prompting concern for the remainder of the season. The year is already expected to have an extremely active season, with as many as nine hurricanes predicted to strike.
The prominence of La Niña, the colder half of a two-sided weather system that serves as a strong predictor of hurricane activity, has already forced the Mexican government to take added preventative measures to ensure the safety of the state.
Many parts of Cancun experienced the flooding this Monday, as well as some significant gusts of wind.
Multiple sectors of the emergency services were ready to respond to a multitude of potential problems that may have surfaced. For the most part, the problems mainly caused traffic issues and some minor cosmetic damage to some lower-lying buildings. Reports of unpleasant smells due to the sewage system being flooded also emerged.
Tourists and residents in the area are being warned to expect poor weather as the week goes on and potentially make alternate plans. Some tourists have already rebooked their vacations or canceled them altogether. May is generally a poor-performing month for Cancun anyway, but any loss is significant.
Those who choose to remain must exercise added caution, especially if at the beach. Swimming will be extremely dangerous if rough waves are caused by hurricanes. These waves may persist well beyond the apparent poor weather and lifeguards may not always be able to help. The state has seen several tragic deaths on its beaches in the past few months.
There were threats of Agatha gaining even more traction and turning into a category three, but so far, those projections are not likely.
Quintana Roo is at significant risk for the rest of the season and tourists should keep well ahead of any potential threats. Keeping on top of the weather forecasts and any storm systems forming in the gulf will help decision-making further along.
Staying in Cancun or any town hit by a hurricane runs far bigger threats than a ruined holiday. Travel in devastated areas can be crippled, leaving foreigners stranded for as long as it takes for evacuation flights to be charted- sometimes weeks.
Even if the hotel or accommodation is still functioning, guests are not suddenly offered free accommodation, the expense will be out of pocket, turning a budgeted trip into an increasingly large financial burden.
If travelers should still choose to visit during hurricane season, they should make sure to be aware of any evacuation protocols, and safety rules, and inform several family members or friends of their whereabouts. Travel insurance is a must in these cases as it can offer financial support in the worst-case scenario.
Hurricane season this year, ends on November 30th, leaving a huge window before the popular Christmas break for tourists to consider their travel plans. It should not discourage anyone from visiting the region, only add increased caution as what could be a ferocious season gets going.
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