Saturday, October 05, 2013

mind the gap

While I was in San Miguel de Allende, Tropical Storm Manuel managed to rip up quite a bit of the Mexican Pacific coast.

Melaque was spared a lot of the damage.  There was a bit of flooding.  A little more than a typical summer rain storm.  But certainly not as bad as Hurricane Jova in 2011.

By the time I returned to Melaque last week, there was little evidence in town that anything unusual had happened.  But that was not entirely true for the area just east of us around the airprt.  When I drove through last Monday, there was still standing water in several fields.

The most damage was around the airport.  The banana crops on some of the coconut plantations were flattened.  Last Monday, there were piles of salvaged banana stalks stacked along the highway waiting to be shipped to market.  And the bananas that could not be shipped were being sold at tables along the highway for bargain prices.

By the end of the week, most of the fields were cleaned up.  But the remaining stumps still evidence the force of the water that flowed over the airport highway.

That highway was a casualty of the flooding, as well.  Washing out in at least two places -- closing the airport for a few days until the construction crews could build temporary structures over the gullies.

Flooding from Hurricane Jova two years ago caused an overpass to collapse on that same highway.  It has yet to be repaired.  But it is not necessary.  The current traffic pattern is more logical without it.

But the highway is the only way to get to and from the airport.  I am amazed at how quickly Mexican road crews respond to these closures.  And, even though the gully-spanning arrangement looks as if it was designed by military engineers as part of an invasion, the solution works.  Temporarily.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes to re-build that section of road.  The airport has always been a priority for Colima's highway engineers.

There is probably yet another story to be eked out of the tropical storm.

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