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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Floods, property damage rampant as downpours continue in Yucatan

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Military personnel views flooding in Merida. Photo: Courtesy

After more than 36 hours of continuous rain, Yucatan has exceeded the record set by Hurricane Isidoro in September 2002.

According to Conagua, in the last 24 hours over five inches of rain drenched Cantamayec, 4.8 inches in Motul, 4.6 inches in Valladolid and 4.5 inches in Mérida. Off-and-on rain is expected to continue today, with higher winds. The first day in the forecast without rain is Sunday, according to Meteored.

Residents in Merida and the area reported unprecedented flooding conditions. Swimming pools overflowed into houses and cars in low-lying driveways were submerged. Many struggled to find enough buckets to catch leaks. Walled-in terraces and patios resembled bathtubs and backyards became lakes.

The storm is hovering over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, and is expected to move inland for a time over southeastern Mexico, potentially weakening to a tropical depression, until Friday when it is forecast to move back into the Bay of Campeche, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Tropical storm Cristóbal caused severe floods in the south and damaged vegetable and habanero chile crops in Tekax and Tzucacab, while farmers watched helplessly. Army personnel evacuated 60 people from their homes in Yaxcabá.

Lawmaker Janice Escobedo called on Governor Mauricio Vila Dosal to invoke article 72 of the Civil Protection law and issue an emergency declaration, which releases funds for emergency and disaster relief.

Cristóbal was forecast to make landfall over the Mexican Southeast at some point between the Campeche and Tabasco.

Tropical Storm Cristobal will inch ashore in Mexico today and then track toward the U.S. Gulf Coast later this weekend bringing a threat of flooding rain, high surf, coastal flooding and winds.

Cristobal is the record-earliest-in-season third named Atlantic storm, previously held by Tropical Storm Colin in 2016. Last year, the “C” storm, Chantal, didn’t develop until Aug. 20.

On Wednesday morning, Cristobal was centered about 25 miles north-northwest of Ciudad del Carmen and drifting southeastward at less than 5 mph.

A tropical storm warning has been posted along the coast from Campeche west to Puerto de Veracruz. The National Hurricane Center said tropical-storm-force winds are affecting portions of the area.

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