We were getting some rain from around 11 a.m. to noon in La Ceiba, Honduras. So far it is just a normal tropical rain with no wind to speak of. At 12:30 p.m., the rain stopped and then started again about 1 p.m.
Here is a video of what is happening in La Ceiba. Don't expect anything sensational − thank goodness!
Honduran television reports and reports from friends in other areas of Honduras indicate that that there is rain or some heavy rain in most parts of the country but nothing significant at this point. Tegucigalpa experienced a drizzle which has stopped for the moment, according to Angel. David reports rain with a light breeze on Roatán. Many businesses are closed or are closing soon. Classes in much of the country have been cancelled for today and tomorrow.
This is from the U.S. National Hurricane Center advisory number 17 at 11:00 a.m. EDT (3 hours ago Honduran time):
FELIX IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE 8 TO 12 INCHES OF RAIN ACROSS NORTHERN NICARAGUA AND EL SALVADOR...WITH 10 TO 15 INCHES OVER MUCH OF HONDURAS. ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF 25 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE IN MOUNTAINOUS AREAS. THESE RAINS WILL LIKELY PRODUCE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES. PERSONS IN FLOOD-PRONE AREAS SHOULD TAKE ALL NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY.
At this point, rain is much more of a concern than high winds. If Honduras receives this predicted amount of rain, it will, without a doubt, cause some rivers to overflow and possibly wash out some roads and bridges. The center of La Ceiba is flooded after less than an hour's rain − as it always floods when there is rain. Whether we see anything more than usual will really depend upon how long it continues to rain.
As in most countries, the people most likely to be affected are the poor who live in marginal areas and often in houses of precarious construction. The government assures us that shelters have been set up for the affected and that food and medical supplies have been stocked throughout the country.
I've been reading everything I have time to read in an effort to give the Blogicito readers the most accurate information possible. While I don't want to downplay what could be a serious situation in some areas, I HAVE to tell you that there is a lot of media sensationalism going on!
I've read that there were frantic evacuations from Roatán − yes, tourists were evacuated as a precaution, but most residents stayed, and I don't think it could be described as frantic or desperate as it has been in some articles. I've read that 2,500 - 5,000 - 10,000 - 15,000 (take your pick) people were evacuated from various areas in Honduras.
I saw a CNN report last night purportedly from La Ceiba. It was noted as "Live from La Ceiba" and showed heavy rain and strong winds. I don't know where this film was from but it was most definitely NOT live from La Ceiba! We had NO wind and NO rain whatsoever last night and that's a fact.
Additionally, the COPECO official's comment yesterday that Felix was following the path of Hurricane Mitch has been declared completely inaccurate. Mitch was the hurricane that devastated Honduras in 1998.
Anyway, if you have friends or family in Honduras, stay calm, check the official weather sites, and please don't try to call today. Too many calls will jam the phone lines and could prevent emergency calls from getting through.
If our family is any example, and I guess they are since they are Honduran, I think I can say that they are much more calm about this whole thing than La Gringa, although I'm definitely doing better than yesterday. El Jefe is smirking and choking back the "I told you so."
Official weather links can be found at the end of this article: We are taking Hurricane Felix seriously now.
Thanks, everyone, for your good wishes and concerned comments and emails. I'm reading them and appreciate them very much. I hope you understand that I don't have time to answer them individually right now. :-D
Amazingly, our internet connection returned today better than ever (fingers crossed), but it sure is taking a long time to upload this video to YouTube. It's not easy being a weathergirl.