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Monday, August 20, 2007

Hurricane Dean Stirs Memories of Recent Cancun Visit

As the news of Hurricane Dean comes in today and the news that it is directing itself towards the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, memories of our recent trip to Cancun continue to fill my thoughts. And as of last night when it was thought to be aimed squarely at Cancun and now as it aims more towards the south of the Yucatan and Belize.

Our feelings our mixed of course – half feeling extremely fortunate that we were able to enjoy our time there just over two weeks, and half wondering how the peninsula will make out having just experienced the death and destruction of Hurricane Wilma less than two years ago. That storm caused $3B in damage and Wilma was still in forefront of the minds of many on our visit. In fact, I could not remember what the impact of Wilma was that I found and read this site where several folks posted memories.

The pictures on the news and airports showed the same airport terminals, restaurants, and hotels that we had seen. The only good news is that it looks like both Cancun and Cozumel will avoid the brunt of the storm as I write this. However, that could always be premature given that these hurricanes can change directions on a moments notice. Not to mention there is still sure to be some impact since the tropical storm affects areas 175 miles from the eye of Hurricane Dean.

But, to the south – things may be much worse. The concern there is two main areas just 70 miles south of the city of Cancun, Xel-Ha the natural water park and aquarium where we swam with the dolphins and the Tulum Mayan ruins. These locations promise to much closer to the eye of the hurricane and with storm surges expected to be in the 12-18ft range (from 11pm EDT National Hurricane Center), one can only hope for the best.

Only time will tell, especially with Hurricane Dean set to make landfall in the next 12 hours.