Hurricane Delta Touches Down as a Category 2 Storm Near Cancun, Where Tourists Are Stuck
Hurricane Delta made landfall in Mexico early Wednesday as a Category 2 storm, knocking out power and prompting evacuations from hotels hosting tourists.
Delta touched down around 5:30 a.m. local time along the northeastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula near Puerto Morelos with maximum winds of 110 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
“The storm is expected to grow in size as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico, increasing the threat for life-threatening surge,” the NHC said.
In Cancun, an area popular with tourists, the winds hovered around 84 mph, and half of customers in Cancun, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen lost power, Quintana Roo Gov. Carlos Joaquín told the Associated Press.
The outlet reported that the storm toppled 95 trees and prompted the evacuations of 39,000 people in the states of Quintana Roo and Yucatan, with about 2,700 of those people taking refuge in storm shelters.
Among those was Ana Karen Rodríguez, who arrived at the Fiesta Americana Condesa hotel in Cancun on Tuesday afternoon, only to be shuttled to a hurricane shelters just hours later.
Rodríguez told the AP that she and the friend with whom she was traveling were taken to the campus of the Technological Institute of Cancun to hunker down.
“It’s been good,” she said, praising the hotel’s planning. “I feel comfortable actually.”
Kristyn Owens of Los Angeles was also taking refuge in a school being used as a hurricane shelter, she told CNN.
Owens said she was staying in an Airbnb in Cancun to celebrate her 30th birthday, but was evacuated to the school, which boarded up its windows and laid cots on the floor.
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“All of the hotel occupants are spread between these classrooms. They gave us a sandwich, juice and water, and pillow and sheets,” she told the outlet. “It was very well executed. [But] it’s not ideal. This is not the Westin, by any means.”
Hurricane Delta is expected to continue heading north, with “flash, urban, small stream and minor river flooding” likely from Friday through Saturday from portions of the central Gulf Coast northward into portions of the Lower to Middle Mississippi Valley, the NHC said.
There were no immediate reports of death or injuries, according to the AP.