Hanging Out and Waiting for Hurricane Zeta to Arrive

Prior to being a couple of bloggers in Mexico, Linda and I lived in Florida for many years. During that time, we had our fair share of experiences with powerful tropical storms and hurricanes. In fact, we had three hurricanes pass over our house in a single season back in 2004.

Those hurricanes left our house severely damaged and Linda injured. She fractured her back during the second hurricane when she fell from the top of the attic steps in the garage after passing me a bucket to deal with the cascade of water pouring in through our damaged roof. Her injuries required surgery, which she had just prior to the third hurricane hitting the area. She had to endure several days without electricity in the sweltering Florida heat with stitches in her back.

Some folks might think that we would avoid retiring in a place that could potentially get hit by a hurricane — but we didn’t. We ended up buying a condo in Mexico’s Riviera Maya so we could spend our days on the beautiful Caribbean beaches here. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t take certain factors into consideration when purchasing here.

We made sure that our condo was well above sea level and far enough from the beach to reduce the risks associated with storm surge. We also purchased a condo with exterior and interior block walls and a solid concrete roof. There are two windowless bathrooms in the event that we need to stay away from the windows for a bit.

We learned many years ago in Florida that it’s important to pay close attention to the track of the first few storms of the season. They can be a good indicator if one particular area will get hit harder than others that year by future storms. As one old timer told me many years ago, storms tend to follow a similar track for the season, and unlike lightening, these things often strike the same place at least twice.

That was certainly the case in 2004 when we lived in Florida, and we’re seeing a similar pattern this year where we live in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. We’re only hours a way from the fourth major storm of the season, Hurricane Zeta, to pass through this area. It is expected to strengthen to a category one before it makes landfall.

Prior to this year, we hadn’t had any trouble with storms here. Just some periods of heavy rain from time to time.

We feel comfortable sheltering in place for this storm. If it was expected to be a category three or higher with the same trajectory, we would have probably evacuated to a city inland or flown out.

Outside of our little slice of Heaven, the state has suspended alcohol sales and businesses have been ordered to close by 2 PM. Everyone is battening down the hatches and waiting for Hurricane Zeta to arrive. Well, all we can do now is sit around and wait.

If you’re in this neck of the woods, stay indoors and stay safe. We’ll see you on the other side of this thing.

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) to share their experiences as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

45 Comments on "Hanging Out and Waiting for Hurricane Zeta to Arrive"

  1. Carolee and Jay | October 26, 2020 at 2:57 pm |

    Stay safe you two! We know what it’s like! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwI3ZIAhzJ4
    Carolee and Jay

  2. Doris Cividanes Carter | October 26, 2020 at 2:58 pm |

    Best wishes, stay safe!

  3. We are on the other side of the peninsula in Progreso, Yucatan, and are also awaiting Zeta. Thanks for all your informative blogs, and let’s hope this storm is a minor one.

  4. Keep safe

  5. Thanks Paul and Linda! We’re all tucked in here and prepared.

  6. Mitch Kolenovsky | October 26, 2020 at 3:06 pm |

    We’re in Cozumel hunkered down like splendid toad fish awaiting a visit from Zeta. Diving is over for our trip. This is our first direct hurricane experience and the people here have been awesome. Stay safe!

  7. Donna tafuri | October 26, 2020 at 3:08 pm |

    Glad to know all this about our condo! We didnt leave either of the last 2 storms and we are staying put for this one too!

  8. Denise Olazar | October 26, 2020 at 3:11 pm |

    We are hunkered down at Catalonia Royal Tulum having delayed our arrival to avoid Hurricane Delta! Hard to believe 3 storms so close together but being from Northern California, we’re used to Earthquakes not Hurricanes! This will be a first in the 12 years we’ve been loving this resort. See you on the other side of it!

  9. Thanks for the insight. Stay safe guys.

  10. Michael Savage | October 26, 2020 at 3:15 pm |

    What site does your hurricane picture come from?

  11. Stay safe. Thinking of you from the Pacific side

  12. On a separate topic: our Residente Temporals expired Oct 12, 2020. We were told by Melaque INM official that if we couldńt get to Mexico one month before expiry, we still had 55 days after expiry to get down there to renew. Then we saw, on facebook, the rules had changes to, prior to covid rules, allowing No leeway now. We had asked INM on two occasions, early April and mid May and the 55 days info was the same both times. Do you know the actual rules now? We plan to just line up with the Mexicans, with our expired Temporals and hope for the best.

    • I just checked with our immigration specialist, Adriana, and she said you won’t have any problem arriving with those cards or renewing them. She works primarily with the INM office in Playa del Carmen.

  13. We are inland a bit on the Yucatan coast And our groundskeeper has told us this isn’t one to worry about! Just like a Norte! After the last 2 I am.glad.yo hear that! Nothing happened here but I was very scared! A prairie girl doesn’t know hurricanes! No more after this I hope!

  14. Jeannine Patora | October 26, 2020 at 3:30 pm |

    we bought our mexican home and took possession Oct 3, the saturday that tropical storm Hanna hit. one day clean up, one day sunshine, tuesday Hurricane Delta warning and prep. Wednesday no power clean up, thursday power and clean up. Extended our stay another week so we could get everything done (name changes, property manager set up, etc). Back in Canada now 8 days and another hurricane! All we have here is snow!

    been thinking of you guys when I heard its heading for Akumal.

  15. Let’ stay all safe!!

  16. Fran Clark-Fiorentino | October 26, 2020 at 3:54 pm |

    Paul and Linda, praying for your safety during this storm. Take care and be safe at all times!

  17. Vickie Rodriguez | October 26, 2020 at 3:58 pm |

    Stay safe!

  18. Jeffrey F Stoeckle | October 26, 2020 at 4:15 pm |

    Thanks Paul. We hope all stay safe.

  19. Paul &Linda ,hope all works out safe for you guys please keep us informed.

  20. Cheryl Keller | October 26, 2020 at 4:24 pm |

    Sitting here in Mississippi waiting for the same storm. Cancelled plans for a mini vacay in Louisiana this week. sigh

  21. Doreen herlinsky | October 26, 2020 at 4:37 pm |

    Stay safe. Do you have hurricane shutters?

  22. Most positive thought to you guys. Your definitely taking the smart approach, and it will pass.

  23. Meg Telligman | October 26, 2020 at 4:47 pm |

    I contacted my son, Jeff Davidson and his precious wife Cristina. Praying for safety for all of you!

  24. Elizabeth Calvillo | October 26, 2020 at 4:52 pm |

    Good Luck, stay safe. Thank you so much for all helpful and interesting information you share with us.

  25. Thinking about you and all of our other friends in the RM. I hope our place in Sirenis is okay.

  26. This one won’t be nothing, but it should not be too bad here in Motul. Be thinking of you guys there. My Niece and her Hubby put their Boat in Dry Dock this morning there in Cancun and are coming here for 2 nights. She does not deal with storms well, and their Condo is pretty high up. Stay Safe and Be Well!!

  27. Hope everything goes well. I would feel pretty safe in a brick and concrete building here in Mexico too.

  28. Did you and Linda consider the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) for relocation? Still in the Caribbean, but out of the hurricane path. Curious if you did and why you crossed them off the list.

  29. William Walker | October 26, 2020 at 6:13 pm |

    Wow. When is it due? Looks huge. Stay safe. Bill
    Please give updates

  30. Lisa Skinner McKinney | October 26, 2020 at 6:27 pm |

    I was there during Gamma & Delta. We left Isla Mujeres for Delta and drove to Bacalar & Chetumal for the duration. Driving back north I saw you had some damage in your area. Hoping this one will be gentle!

  31. This one snuck up on us. It’s hard to find a flight out of here without spending a lot of money and airlines evacuate tourists at hotels to make it even harder to get tickets. Be safe. Looks like it’s gonna direct hit Akumal/Tulum.

    By the way, the governor tells everyone to tape their windows here and I remember doing that growing up in Massachusetts. I also read that it’s more dangerous to do so. I wonder why more people aren’t aware of this?

    • David, tape does not help! It only causes a mess. The sun melts the tape onto the glass and it is nearly impossible to remove it. Replacing your windows with hurricane impact windows, or covering the entire window with hurricane shutters, plywood, and the like helps immensely. Good luck!

  32. We’re keeping our fingers crossed as we have several times these past few weeks. We’ll be down there a week from Friday and are hoping not to see any damage to our place. Stay safe.

  33. Hope all is well!! Thanks for the post.

  34. Linda Harris | October 26, 2020 at 9:33 pm |

    Be safe! Will be checking on all my friends in Playa!

  35. Paul and Linda, you well know the drill being former Floridians, stay safe!

  36. Hoping you all stay safe!! Let’s pray it doesn’t get worse!

  37. We can’t find any news on the aftermath of Zeta to our beloved Akumal. Can you give a status report?

  38. Brenda Bremer | October 28, 2020 at 12:04 pm |

    Stay safe!

  39. Cheryl Peterson | October 28, 2020 at 1:13 pm |

    Such a harrowing story of you and Linda having gone through 3 hurricanes and of being injured so severely… Having endured endless weeks of smoke and tinder dry conditions in Colorado, I flew out of Denver on Sunday…bad timing on my part. At least I made it to the store for some needed essentials. Still no internet in my condo…but little damage but some roof tiles and plants. I walked around Playa the day after and couldn’t believe the number of felled trees and some structural damage…
    Can’t imagine what a category 5 would be like.
    Goes to prove the point, we can’t control Mother Nature.

    2020 has been nothing short of horrendous. The virus, the economy, the violence, the devastating wild fires in CA and Colorado, the hurricanes in the gulf states, and now the election. I am grateful for my health, friends, and the opportunity to be back in this beautiful slice of paradise…May 2021 be a welcome change for all of the world.
    Blessings to everyone.

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