Cancun, Q.R. — A tropical system that has blanketed the Cancun, Riviera Maya region for several days is finally moving off, but not before dousing the region with heavy rains.
Strong winds accompanied the system that took several days to move toward the south-central Gulf of Mexico waters. In its wake, residents of Cancun and towns along the Riviera Maya coast were soaked by the heavy rains that left many low-level streets flooded as drains reached capacity.
Several streets in the municipality of Benito Juárez were overcome with high levels of water, leaving motorists stranded and residents to wade through ankle deep water. The Cancun fire department was called to deal with two large trees that toppled due to the strong wind and rain combination.
Antonio Fonseca León, Director of the fire department for Cancun reported that tours throughout the city were made, mainly in areas considered red flood districts, whose work began early each morning.
The central areas of Sunyaxchen, Tankah, Xelha, Xpuhil and Nichupté Avenues were among the most affected. In Playa del Carmen, several downtown streets also became waterlogged as the rains persisted and drains overflowed.
Ports were also closed to small boats around the region. Smaller vessels from Isla Mujeres to Playa del Carmen were prohibited from entering the stormy waters due to the strong wind gusts that arrived with the system.
Ports to the smaller vessels began closing Sunday. Heavy economic losses are being felt for the nautical sector said Iván Ferrat Mancera, president of Associated Nautical of Quintan Roo. “The occupation rate that we have right now is around 65 percent since we are being affected by the weather.
“On Sunday, the port authority announced the closure of the port for Monday due to bad weather which continued on Tuesday,” he said.
Unfortunately, the weather forecasts are not encouraging for the nautical sector, adding its activities will be interrupted continuously in the coming days since there is the threat of Issac in the Atlantic.
“We have easterly and southeasterly winds of 40 to 45 kilometers per hour, which is why only the ferry crossing is allowed while all the vessels of nautical services have restricted operations,” he added.
The weather has mainly affected visits to Isla Contoy, whale shark tours, sport fishing, riparian fishing, wave runners in the Caribbean Sea, snorkeling, diving and parachutes, which represents losses of around $300,000 USD per day he explained.
The Port Captaincy maintains the suspended activities for smaller vessels in nautical tourism, leaving only passenger ships and ferries operable until conditions improve.
Ubaldo Alejandro Robertos Canul, director of Pozos y Limpieza de Playas for Cancun, said that nearly 100 workers were out in the rains cleaning wells to improve drainage.
La Dirección General de Protección Civil (Civil Protection) reports that according to the Comisión Nacional del Agua (Conagua), between 50 and 75 mm of rain has fallen around the city. Rains for the region are expected to end today.
According to the NOAA, as the system leaves the Cancun region, heavy rainfall and gusty winds are expected from the same system across portions of northeastern Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana late this week.