The Akumalian

Akumal's Newsletter for its Extended Global Community
Quintana Roo, Mexico

Hurricane Dean and Casa Colibri

Hurricane Dean is history now, and it was very well tracked and covered by the news media.  It looked like it was coming directly towards the Akumal-Tulum area, so everybody had plenty of time to get well prepared. We, Ingrid & SteveC, planned to evacuate to the Hotel Vila Maria in Merida, our usual 'safe haven' in times like this.

As time went on and Dean got closer to the Yucatan Peninsula, it became evident that Dean was going to go further south, down towards Bacalar and Chetumal; we would have preferred a northerly track through the Yucatan Channel.  Anyway, the models still looked reasonably favorable for Akumal - we'd get tropical storm winds (about 45 mph) - so we decided to stay in Casa Colibri.  In a way we are glad we did, because it allowed us to get to work on the cleanup right away.

Dean came in during the night (actually early morning) of Tuesday, August 21. The electricity went off during the night, but the telephones kept working.  The wind was not too bad, and there was barely any rain, but the surf was outrageously high and loud coming over the reef.  And, it just kept coming up onto the beach, through the yard, and up to the patio and house, dropping LOTS of sand, rocks/coral, and debris into our moat, sometimes called a swimming pool.  As dawn broke, it looked like the aftermath of Emily and Wilma in 2005, on the beach side.  The storm winds came from the Sea side, so there was hardly any damage on the street/jungle side of the house.

SteveC fired up the generator to power the refrigerators, water pump, and computer/Internet.  Electricity returned at around 12:15pm, and CFE was being very generous, providing 140 volts in place of 120 v.  As I write this on Friday morning, the voltage is sitting at 133 volts.

Hurricane Dean was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in two decades when it came ashore just north of the states's capital, Chetumal - actually around Bacalar - in the early hours of Tuesday, August 21 with winds of 165 miles per hour.  Akumal is about 100+ mile north of Bacalar, and the forecast was for tropical force winds.  Wind and rain were not the problem along the Riviera Maya, but the storm surge and waves were, and the waves caused about as much seaside damage as did Emily and Wilma back in 2005.

These photos here concentrate on Casa Colibri in South Akumal, and another Photo Gallery looks at Akumal in general, but with much fewer photos.

The first set of photos provide a BEFORE DEAN (BD) environment on the beachside of Casa Colibri, and then we go from there.  There's no photos of the house, because there were no problems there; the damage was all on the beach, which ultimately landed in the "moat" before getting to the house.  Enjoy, and think of life in "paradise".

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Sunday, August 19. The view from the balcony onto the planters betweel the beach and pool.

The coconut palm at end of pool.

Some of the planters on beach side.

A different view of planters.

Down on the beach. We love these shrubs, and

we only got them after Wilma in 2005, and

they have been flourishing ever since.

From beach towards house.

"Ah, everything is just so nice right now."

Monday, August 20. Gary, David, and Terry, South Akumal's intrepid Hurricane Watchers

Waves Monday evening

Beautiful sky on Monday.

Waves coming up on beach.

Our shrubbery is getting wet.

Darkening skies over North Akumal.

A beautiful sun setting sky.

Tuesday, August 21. The aftermath of Hurricane Dean.

Thursday, August 23. Rhett Schober to the rescue with his Honda pump.

"Look at what I can do", says Rhett.

Bottom of pool is full. . .

rocks, sand, and crabs.

Rhett and Ingrid desereve a beer with Germans from Munich.

1st disposal philosophy; bring to street to be removed.

Stone disposal pholosophy #2; throw them back into the Caribbean Sea.

Philosophy #3; use the stones to rebuild walls and. . .

planters again, and ........

These are not "perfect" just yet.

Friday, the pool is empty and clean, but "Where's the water?"

Sunday, Sept. 2nd - these following photos are after the cleanup and planter wall restoration.

The center planter.

And yes, there is water in the pool.

Looking good.

As long as Hurricane Felix stays away.

Planter retaining wall on beach.

Not too much "sand" but a lot of dirt and coral.

But up on the roof there is a lot of color.

Back of bench

The wall is beginning to look better, but. . . .it's been expensive.

And there's still more final work to be done, and . .

we need sand and plants, lots of sand and plants!! Will it ever be back to normal?

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