Cancun, Riviera Maya, Q.R. — No deaths have been reported, however, extensive flooding and fallen trees are the two most common afflictions left behind with the passing of Tropical Depression Cristobal Friday.
Although the storm passed along the west in Yucatan, wind and rain were felt as far east as Cozumel in Quintana Roo. Civil Protection personnel from every municipality were out with city staff clearing drains and assessing damage for a majority of the day as the storm slowly made its way toward the Gulf.
By late afternoon, the effects of Cristobal had begun to die, allowing municipalities a chance to review roadways and heavily treed areas. Areas such as Isla Mujeres experienced only minor damage in the way of fallen trees, since, as Mayor Carrillo Soberanis explained, they prepared early.
The mayor verified that they did not experience any major floods that affected citizens thanks to the preventive work carried out through the Directorate of Civil Protection and Fire Department. He noted although there was no considerable waterlogging in the municipality, there was damage to urban infrastructure such as street lamps and some trees.
While a portion of the Cancun-Merida highway was temporarily shut due to flooding, the city of Cancun recorded several downed billboards and numerous trees along with street flooding in older areas. In Cancun, the Quintana Roo Police implemented a special operation to provide assistance to citizens in the face of the heavy rains caused by the tropical depression. More than 30 street lights were also outed, causing traffic issues.
According to Emmanuel Hedding Medina, operational director of the Secretariat for Risk Prevention, Civil Protection and Fire, in Playa del Carmen, elements were also out after the storm clearing streets of fallen trees. They reported several toppled electricity poles and advertising billboards, but no human injuries.
“It is important that people stay in their homes, that they are not circulating in the city because there have been vehicles that have been getting stuck. City staff is working to remove everything like fallen trees, structures and cables,” he said. Several ares of the city also flooded.
Ferry company Ultramar was also forced to suspend its services between Cozumel and Playa del Carmen due to the extreme winds. The company published a notice Friday stating “due to the weather conditions, Capitanía de Puerto has suspended navigation, so all crossings on the Playa del Carmen – Cozumel route are CANCELED until further notice. We appreciate your understanding.”
According to CFE, more than 354,000 homes in the states of Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Veracruz and Yucatan were affected by the strong winds and heavy rains as power failures were felt throughout rain-soaked states.
More than 350 hectares of varying agricultural areas have been affected by the heavy rains and water runoff from Cristobal, causing damage to products such as Chihua squash and watermelon, reported the municipal director of Agricultural Development, Rudy Cab Ku.
Shortly after the passing of Cristobal, a thunderstorm hit the region Friday night bringing more rain and strong winds. Coastal municipalities will be out cleaning streets and other weather-related debris from a week of heavy rains.