As Hurricane Delta barrels down on the Yucatan, I find myself wondering what the hell we were thinking when we bought a house a literal stone’s throw from the Caribbean. While news outlets can’t agree whether it’s the third or the ninth storm of the season (wide gap there, guys), they do agree on it being a Category 4 hurricane destined to hit the Riviera Maya over the next few days. From what I read, it is expected to hit Dzilam, a town just 95 kilometers from our new home.
The optimist in me isn’t worried. The pragmatist is. (Can those two things exist in one person simultaneously?)
Let’s list the good news first:
- Chelem (the town where our new house is) is not in the direct path of the storm. It will get lots of rain and strong winds, though, so it isn’t exactly in the clear. That said, the house has stood for more than 40 years, so I expect it will get through this storm just fine.
- The tourist towns from Tulum to Cancun will take the biggest hit. Once the storm hits land, it will slow somewhat and likely bounce northward towards the US. Ok, so for the US, this isn’t exactly great news.
- We haven’t closed on the house yet. And, better yet, we won’t live there–or anywhere even close–from several more months. At least we are safe. Phew.
- Due to #3 above, we haven’t yet made any repairs to the house, minimizing whatever negative impact the storm may have to the property. We are planning to do some renovating, but that will come long after storm season has passed.
Now, the pragmatist speaks:
- This has been a record-setting year for storms in the Caribbean. With the continuing climate crisis, there is no telling what the future will hold. It could be better; it could be worse.
- Despite our plan to renovate, the extra costs of fixing hurricane damage may be considerably more than we had planned. Of course, things in Mexico are much, MUCH cheaper than in the US, so we are likely not going to break the bank. It seems to me that the things will are planning to replace anyway (windows, doors, resealing the roof, etc.) are the same things that are most likely to get damaged in a storm.
- Storms are something we are going to have to learn to live with. We’re buying the house. We plan to live in it. Mother Nature doesn’t give a hoot about what we think. Humans have had their chance to clean up their environmental act. We failed. Now we have to take our lumps.
- We will do what we need to do.