As Hurricane Dean keeps steadily approaching the Yucatan Peninsula, with the projected path going straight over Merida, most of us in Merida are preparing and watching and waiting.
NOAA says that the maximum sustained winds are close to 145 miles per hour right now, with higher gusts. Dean is now a category 4 hurricane, just hitting Jamaica, with a lot of warm water to travel over before it gets here. We’re not worried, but we’re not relaxed either! The thing that has made us really sit up and take notice is that from the satellite photos, Hurricane Dean is already bigger than the entire Yucatan Peninsula.
According to what we’ve read on other websites, people are in waiting mode in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and the rest of the Mayan Riviera. There has been a hurricane watch issued for the entire coast between Chetumal and San Felipe, and we’ve heard that they are evacuating Isla Holbox. We’ve got to think that most people on Cozumel and Isla Mujeres are considering evacuation as well. Friends of ours who live at the beach are heading into town today, after closing up their homes and we’re all hoping for the best.
Meanwhile, life goes on here in Merida. Last night, the town was full of people and all the restaurants were packed as people came back from the beach cities, preparing for both school (which is supposed to start next week) and the hurricane, whichever comes first. The weather started out cool today and is heating up as usual, with clouds gathering for an afternoon thunderstorm. Trees and gardens are in full tropical summer splendor… we can’t remember when they’ve looked better! So we are enjoying them as much as we can, because if Hurricane Dean hits Merida, those gardens will be blown to bits, literally. Little leaf bits. They’ll be back, of course, but not for a few months at least.
We have bought extra water, put gas in the car, bought tarps and rope and batteries. We’ve got DVDs to watch as long as the power is on, and books and games for when it isn’t. We’ve stocked up on dog and cat food, as well as human food. And we’ve told our families not to worry about us.
There’s not much else to do but wait. When there’s something new to tell, we’ll put an update here.
SEE THE VIDEO! Watch the video of Hurricane Dean in Merida.
Read about our preparations and past hurricane experiences here.
Here are some other websites that are updating from the Yucatan:
Hurricane Dean Blog