Two hurricanes back to back

After about 9 months of the country being locked down, they finally opened the airport back up. So we decided to take advantage of this and fly to the states to see some friends, family, grandkids, and our new granddaughter.  Of course, this almost didn’t happen.

Nice and calm above the storm.

A few days before we were supposed to leave, a Cat 4 hurricane (Eta) with 150 mph winds was bearing down on Nicaragua to the south of us. Luckily Belize was spared the big winds but received massive amounts of rain. In some places, the river rose more than 35′ above the normal water line causing some devastating flooding.

The river rose another 6 plus feet above this 29′ mark.

The day we left for the airport it was raining heavily, but there was no report of our flight being canceled so we continued on. Later that day we had reports of the highway being washed out and the river had now spilled onto the highway. Plus there was so much water on the runway that they had to close the airport. We were lucky to be a few hours ahead of all that was happening, otherwise, we wouldn’t have made it out.

Grandsons Luke and Tyler in their dune buggy.

We finally made it to Arizona after spending a night in Houston (because of flight schedules). We haven’t seen the grandkids in about a year and they are looking good and growing fast. The real excitement for us was getting to meet our new granddaughter for the first time, and she is a cutie.

Our new granddaughter Allison.

While we were there we had a chance to catch up with a bunch of friends, get in some shopping and give Amazon a good workout. Of course, we had to hit all of our favorite restaurants and cook up some of our favorites foods that we just can’t get in Belize, such as snow crab, artichokes, and good Mexican food.

This stuff better be good!

Since you can’t get good hard dry salami in Belize, I decided to bring one back in my backpack. Well, the airport scanner in Phoenix did not like that and thought it was a liquid of some sort, but after a thorough inspection, they let it go through. Then as we went through Houston it was pulled aside again, inspected, and even x-rayed this time. I guess if you want to bring salami on the plane you need to pack it in your checked baggage unless you really want to confuse the TSA.

This is what a Cat 5 hurricane with 200 mph gusts looks like. We are in the top left corner of the picture.

While we were up in the states there was another hurricane forming (Iota) in the Caribbean and it was once again set on hitting Nicaragua. This one quickly built up to a Cat 5 with 160 mph winds and gusts up to 200 mph. These two hurricanes hit Nicaragua within two weeks of each other and made landfall within 15 miles of each other, causing mass destruction and loss of lives. Once again Belize was spared the winds, but not the massive amounts of rain. So just as the rivers in Belize were receding back to normal, everything changed and they were on the rise once again.

The market in San Ignacio. The water rose a lot higher than this picture.

The Atlantic usually has an average of 12 named storms per season, using the alphabet to name them. This year is the most named storms on record with 30 so far. They have gone through the alphabet and are now halfway through the Greek alphabet. The hurricane season supposedly ends in November, let sure hope so.

In downtown San Ignacio the water was up to the roofs.

We are fine where we are, everything held up great. Lots of rain still coming down, but it’s all going where it is supposed to go. At this point, we have recorded close to 20″ of rain out of the two storms. A few of the plants didn’t make it, but most of them are looking good and I’m sure they will have a major growth spurt in the near future. I’m also sure there are a few trees down somewhere on the property, we just haven’t looked for them yet. This is by far the most rain we have ever experienced. If you are planning on coming down for a visit, everything should be exceptionally green, even more so than normal, if you can believe that.

Oh, and if anyone is wondering how getting into Belize through the airport went. It took a little longer because of distancing and safety precautions, but overall it went just fine. We did a free rapid Covid test at a CVS pharmacy in AZ, 72 hours prior to landing in Belize so all was a go for us once we landed.