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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

New storm drains helped prepare Merida for Zeta’s rainfall

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Crew pump rainwater from a well at the Las Américas neighborhood in Merida’s north. Photo: Courtesy

Zeta brought yet more rain to Yucatan on Tuesday, but it was a fraction of the amount that came with some recent storms.

Residents were relieved that the tropical storm did not bring another round of flooding at vulnerable areas such as Las Américas and the Paseo de Montejo underpass.

Around 1.6 inches of rain fell Tuesday and winds were no more powerful than 24 mph, according to a Civil Protection Unit weather station near the airport.

As Merida continues to struggle with the aftereffects of Delta’s rainfall, the Municipal Public Services and Social Development said that Tropical Storm Zeta came after dozens of new wells were drilled in flood zones.

At the Las Américas subdivision, intense cleaning de-silting and drainage work have continued since the last hurricane. Higher water tables north of the city have bedeviled residents who have endured a year of record rain. The underpass is still underwater, forcing a logjam at the roundabout above, where Prolongacíon traffic merges with Circuito Colonias.

Hurricane Zeta on Tuesday was downgraded to a tropical storm before its center exited land between Santa Clara and Chabihau at 7 a.m., headed toward the United States’ Gulf Coast.

The city announced that Zeta’s rainfall did not significantly increase the water level, not even in Santa María Yaxché and Chablekal, which were the closest to the storm’s path.

The Drainage Department of the Public Services Directorate announced that so far 64,000 liters of rainwater have been drained in five trips. In addition, six cubic meters of mud have been removed from the streets.

Crew from Aseo Urbano also cleaned 23 streets in Las Américas, from Avenida 108 to Calle 112, and from 51 to 53. In total, 11,040 square meters were reportedly cleaned.

By midafternoon, 31 residents remained in four of 20 temporary shelters, opened for anyone whose home was vulnerable to storm damage. Occupants receive breakfast, lunch and dinner until they can return home.

By 3 p.m., the City Council received 90 calls to report problems with wells, drainage, potholes, lights or dead animals on public roads.

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