It is 11:00 PM here in Bacalar. It is still quiet although a rain has begun. There is a quality in the air and the humidity that recalls Bogart, Bacall, Edward G. Robinson and Lionel Barrymore in Key Largo. Anticipation, perhaps a touch of fear and resignation — the preparations were done and now the wait to see that it was done well.
State & municipal leaders continue to warn more energetically of the danger coming. It is now a cat 5 storm, “Red Alert”, with sustained winds of 260 km/hr which is 160 mph — sufficient to destroy buildings. They are warning of a direct hit on Chetumal or the north part of the Laguna Bacalar.
Weather.com gives me more confidence and projects landfall of the eye tomorrow morning around Felipe Carillo Puerto some 50 miles up the road. Carillo Puerto is a very small city that was the center of the Caste Wars of the Maya against the Spanish/Mexican colonials of the haciendas who were growing very affluent on the trade in hemp for ships’ rigging during the 18th & 19th centuries.
It is the gateway to the Si’an Ki’an Biosphere, the home of a growing group of Maya learning to make crafts, and a place hoping to be included in the tourist, eco-tourist industry that has not totally reached it yet. It has charm and it has many people living in less-than-secure dwellings.
I don’t want Dean to roll directly over me but I don’t want it to destroy others. I cannot influence the monster from his path. It is now being called a monster. President Calderòn is returning from Canada to oversee the aftermath.
Even at this stage of the night there is still question of where Dean will land and how much water will precede him in the storm surge. However, it is clear that he will be landing here or near here.
The Weather Channel has a good collection of maps including one projecting wind damage. I am in the yellow near the red line. On the line but not, as was just said on state tv, in the bulls-eye.
It now seems that the high winds will hit about 3AM. It shows not to believe rumors. An earlier text message warned power would be cut at 7PM. It wasn’t.
After the Wilma experience that cost billions the authorities are trying to avoid pulling a New Orleans. The Secretary of Tourism is already talking of how quickly the tourism industry can be brought back in the aftermath.
I will miss the Internet when it goes. Facing this behemoth of a tempest alone in a soon-to-be-dark house with the sound of the wind raging and the water rising in anger will not make for the most relaxing night. Time to buy an iPod so I could be washed away to the sound of Bach. Then a digital camera to collect some pictures of the fury or the aftermath without having to take them to a lab. Time again to face what the world sends, grin, and bear it.