The record-breaking nature of the 2020 Atlantic Tropical Season continues as Tropical Storm Gamma struck the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico over the weekend.
Gamma became a tropical storm, and thus gained its name, on Friday evening as it strengthened in the northwestern Caribbean Sea. In doing so, Tropical Storm Gamma became only the second of its name to exist in Atlantic Basin history, and the earliest ever, beating out the Gamma of 2005.
At 12:45 p.m. EDT on Saturday, Gamma made landfall near Tulum, Mexico, as a strong tropical storm.
Strong winds batter palm trees in Cancun, Mexico, on Oct. 3, 2020, as Tropical Storm Gamma lashes the coast. (Instagram/@prokitemx)
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said that a weather station at Xel-Ha Park, along the Yucatan coast just north of Tulum, reported sustained winds of 55 mph (89 km/h) and wind gusts up to 68 mph (109 km/h).
On the island of Cozumel, just offshore from the Yucatan Peninsula, wind gusts of 40 mph (64 km/h) were reported early Saturday afternoon.
Early on Sunday morning, wind gusts of 35 mph (56 km/h) were reported in Cancun.
— LD (@LDSiempreTravel) October 3, 2020
On Friday, tropical storm watches and warnings were issued for parts of the Yucatan Peninsula.
The Governor of the state of Quinatana Roo, which contains cities like Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Cancun, advised on Twitter that residents shelter at home and report emergencies to the appropriate authorities.
According to Noticaribe, one of the hardest-hit areas thus far is Playa del Carmen, where the State Coordination of Civil Protection issued a red alert on Saturday morning, due to Gamma's impacts.
Reports of fallen trees, blackouts and flooding in main streets were noted by several emergency agencies in the city.
Heavy winds and downpours ripped through Cancun, Mexico on Oct. 3, 2020, as Tropical Storm Gamma strikes the coast. (Instagram/@t__a__r__a)
Just to the north, in Puerto Morelos, the local government set up two temporary shelters. Fire fighters, public services and civil protection crews were out removing tree branches and assisting drivers, municipal president Laura Fernandez told CancunMio.
Gamma is expected to continue to meander off the northern coast Yucatan Peninsula through Monday, with additional rounds of heavy rain and gusty winds.
Before Gamma pushed into the Yucatan Peninsula, much of southeastern Mexico was deluged by heavy rainfall at the end of September and start of October.
As such, agencies like the National Water Commission and National Civil Protection Coordination warned the southeast region of Mexico to take additional flooding precautions with Gamma, according to News Report Mx.
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