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Quintana Roo nearing end of windy three day drench

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — Another wet windy day is forecast for the Yucatan Peninsula with the passing of a front. Since Sunday, the entire region has endured strong winds and sporadic periods of intense rains with the passing of Front 28.

Areas from Cancun to Chetumal have felt the effects of the system, however, it has been the far southern regions of the state that has suffered heavy rains. The state’s capital city of Chetumal was left under water for two days after intense rains pounded city streets.

Emergency crews closed flooded roads in Chetumal Sunday night during heavy rains. Photo: January 21, 2024.

According to Pedro Santos Chuc, the Director of Chetumal Civil Protection, from 9:00 a.m. Sunday until midnight, the city recorded around 179 millimeters of rain.

Winds with gusts as strong as 60 kms/h have seen some trees felled and numerous coastal ports shut.

The Secretaría de Seguridad Ciudadana of Q.Roo said “derived from the heavy rains caused by cold front No. 28 since Sunday afternoon, Operation Storm was implemented in which operational personnel were deployed to various strategic points in the city of Chetumal with the purpose of providing timely care to the citizens, this in coordination with elements of Civil Protection and the Municipal Police of Othón P. Blanco.

Police and Civil Protection attended to reports of felled trees and power lines in the south. Photo: January 21, 2024.

“Also, closures were made on some roads which were cordoned off to prevent cars from being stranded due to the high level of water and because in some streets, tree falls were recorded causing damage to the power lines, which could represent a risk to the population.”

A taxi is seen stranded in a flooded Chetumal street. January 21, 2024.

For three consecutive days, all navigation to smaller vessels has remained off limits while ferry crossings became intermittent. Runs from Puerto Juarez to Isla Mujeres remained steady since winds from the system has not had as much of an effect in the north.

Hundreds line up for the Isla Mujeres ferry crossing which took longer than normal due to the winds. Photo: January 22, 2024.

That said, the crossing has taken longer than normal, generating long lines of up to two hours. Hundreds of would-be ferry passengers lined up on both sides of the terminal to catch the to-and-from only ferry system currently running the route.

However, the Playa del Carmen – Cozumel ferry crossings have been on-again, off-again suspended due to high waves. Both companies that run the mainland to island route in Riviera Maya have posted suspension notices due to the strong gusts.

Cozumel – Playa del Carmen ferry services were on-again, off-again due to strong winds and high waves. Photo: January 22, 2024.

After a suspension Monday morning, Ultramar posted a gradual reopening of its service. “We will start with the 1:00 p.m. route from Cozumel and 2:00 p.m. from Playa del Carmen,” they said Monday afternoon.

Civil Protection Coordinator Ángel Sulub Hernández reported the municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto was also hit hard by the passing front with strong winds and heavy rains.

Two people are seen attempting to walk through a flooded residential street during heavy rains. Photo: January 21, 2024.

“From the first hours this system began in the municipality, Civil Protection brigades were activated and elements monitored the areas that are frequently flooded due to intense rains so that they can remove the waste that the water drags along its path until it reaches the areas where the absorption wells are located,” he explained.

Emergency fire trucks were out pumping flooded southern streets Monday. Photo: January 22, 2024.

According to Mexico’s Servicio Meteorológico Nacional (SMN), a new front is readying to arrive that will see a decrease in rain but continued winds. Cool air from Front 29 is expected to clash with Quintana Roo’s warm humid air.

Winds and rain remain in the forecast for the Yucatan Peninsula. Photo: SMN January 23, 2024.

While rains are in the forecast, they are not expected to be as intense as what has been felt since Sunday. According to State Civil Protection, 40 to 60 km/h winds along the coast are expected to remain until Friday creating two to four meter high waves.