Interesting Hurricane Notes From My Trip

Nov 12, 2004
Tallahassee, FL
Well I just got back from a trip to Riviera Maya in Mexico and noticed some effects of Katrina from a birds eye view and Wilma on the ground on the eastern Yucatan.

Down in Mexico, its surprising how quickly they got everything back up and looking pretty nice by now, despite the fact its been many months since the storm actually hit. Before we went down we had heard that Cancun/Cozumel was hit harder than Playa del Carmen and areas further south so of course we picked the area less likely to have damage when we went on vacation. Just looking at the vegetation one could see a noticeable trend in the damage from the Cancun airport to our resort several miles south of Playa del Carmen. First thing I noticed when we touched down on the runway was the amount of tree damage to the west of the runway. Basically the Cancun airport is a nearly perfectly flat expanse lying between several miles of residential areas and hotels that stretch to the beach and the jungle to the west. So all the trees were pushed away from the airport. It looked to be pretty substantial but I could not just walk up and take a look.

Then on the bus ride to the hotel you could see yet more damage. Right near the Cancun airport it appeared as though at least 50% tree damage occurred and you could even see some trees uprooted. To the south it appeared as though there was generally less severe damage but in untouched areas you could still see a substantial amount of damage. Along the way you could still see a few structures that were continuing to rebuild (overall buildings are mostly up and at it again though which is good). Additionally some other interesting sights that may or may not have been due to the hurricane but I would be willing to bet they were...such as one of those large advertising billboards with no signs (basically just a skeleton). Then at my resort the buildings were embedded in some foliage. I imagine it had been much thicker at one time because I saw a lot of stubs and stumps around the buildings where the rooms were located. There was also a bridge over some thicker concentrations of trees but the trees appeared to be mangled and twisted around each other and pushed over. Overall the Mayan Riviera appears to have recovered nicely but Wilma certainly left her scars. Then when we were about to take off I noticed a large wildfire in the distance...or at least it certainly appeared that way. With the tropical breezes and all the dead wood sitting around I imagine fires could be a bit of a risk.
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