Hurricane Delta Makes Landfall in Mexico, Could Bring Flash Flooding to US by End of the Week
Tourists have been evacuated from hotels and airlines have issued travel waivers.
Hurricane Delta, now a Category 2 hurricane, made landfall in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula Wednesday morning and is on track to make contact with the U.S. Gulf Coast later this week.
Wind gusts up to 75 miles per hour were measured in Puerto Morelos, Mexico according to The Weather Channel. Cozumel reported gusts of 64 miles per hour.
Earlier, the storm reached Category 4 status in the western Caribbean sea on Tuesday, reaching maximum winds of 145 miles per hour, but has since weakened.
Tourists in resorts on the Yucatan Peninsula were evacuated to government shelters on Tuesday before the storm hit, ABC News 13 in Houston reported. Other resorts that had shelter on-site were testing their emergency systems.
There were 40,900 tourists in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo when the hurricane hit, a fraction of normal numbers, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Associated Press.
The storm is expected to reach the U.S. Gulf Coast by Friday, potentially bringing “flash, urban, and small stream flooding, along with minor river flooding” and up to 12 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service. The upper Texas coast, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama could be impacted. Residents should have a hurricane plan in place, the National Hurricane Center urged.
Travelers headed to Mexico or the Gulf Coast this week have options to reschedule their flights.
Delta passengers scheduled to travel to or from airports in Louisiana from Oct. 8 - 10 can rebook their trips for free before Oct. 15. Passengers with travel to Cancun through Oct. 8 can rebook before Oct. 12.
American Airlines is offering travel waivers for passengers booked for travel to Cancun or Cozumel, Mexico through Oct. 8, with rescheduled travel before Oct. 12.
JetBlue passengers with travel to Cancun through Oct. 7 can rebook their flights through Oct. 10.
United’s current Hurricane Delta travel waiver policy allows passengers booked to Cancun through Oct. 7 to rebook until Oct. 11.
If Delta hits the U.S., it will be the 10th named storm to hit the U.S. this hurricane season, an all-time record.