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Sunnyvmx


Sep 16, 2010, 6:35 AM

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Trip Plans and Flooding

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I have been trying to plan a trip somewhere in Mexico in my small RV, but I keep running into flooding and impassable roads.

Trip one was from Catemaco to Patzcuaro by way of Jalapa, Puebla, Cuernavaca and Morelia. Hwy 180 and Veracruz has flooding. The cuota road around is almost flooded. Mudslides on mountain roads doesn't sound like fun and Karl is bearing down on the area so no relief there it may get a lot worse.

Trip two was from Catemaco to the beaches on the Pacific, crossing the ithmus. We would visit Tuxtla Gutierrez, San Cristobal, Comitan, Lakes of Montebello, follow the coast back to the ithmus and return. Now I read that the ithmus towns have flooding and boats are used in the streets. This would be a fantastic trip if not for all the rain. Here again I believe mudslides are a threat until the hills dry out a bit.

I will ask at the bus station for word of the road conditions, they seem to be the best source for immediate information, but I thought I would put the question out here in case someone has first hand knowledge of the conditions that might be met and even advice as to go or not.

My boyfriend is here from Texas and the drive down Hwy 180 had it difficulties which required a 200 mile backtrack to Veracruz and detour around the flooding to get here. We were looking forward to some travel although I warned him it was a bad time of year. Travel on bad roads in threatening weather takes much of the fun out of a trip so I'm very hesitant to go.



chinagringo


Sep 16, 2010, 8:05 AM

Post #2 of 14 (6993 views)

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Re: [Sunnyvmx] Trip Plans and Flooding

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With this being "hurricane season", most would be hard pressed to even attempt predicting where there might be flooding. For example, KARL crossed the Yucatan and from the projection map on the following link appears to be headed for central Mexico:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/...tml?5-daynl#contents

As with any current or future weather event, man has no control and certainly limited success in their predictions.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



Sunnyvmx


Sep 16, 2010, 9:36 AM

Post #3 of 14 (6976 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Trip Plans and Flooding

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Does someone have factual information about the flooding conditions on the ithmus?


chinagringo


Sep 17, 2010, 10:52 AM

Post #4 of 14 (6874 views)

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Re: [Sunnyvmx] Trip Plans and Flooding

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Nothing that I could find on actual flooding on the Yucatan but from today's MILENIO:

http://www.milenio.com/node/532552
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



Hound Dog

Sep 17, 2010, 3:09 PM

Post #5 of 14 (6838 views)

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Re: [Sunnyvmx] Trip Plans and Flooding

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Does someone have factual information about the flooding conditions on the ithmus?

I presume, Sunny, that now that you have almost certainly observed Hurricane Karl´s direct hit south of Veracruz City with far ranging incremental flooding predicted throughout the region which is almost certain to make all highway travel in the region ill-advised, you have postponed any trip you may have planned for the near future through the Veracruz coastal plain and the Isthmus of Tehunatepec. This is a route we travel a minimum of eight times a year driving from Lake Chapala to San Cristóbal de Las Casas and back and we purposely avoid driving this route during the latter part of the summer rainy season unless such a trip is absolutely necessary. Not only is highway travel a dicey proposition from southeast of Córdoba along the coastal plain but the autopista from east of Minatitlan to Tuxtla Gutierrez is highly subject to flooding and serious mudslides at this time of year. At any time of year the Minatitlan-Tuxtla Gutierrez portion of the autopista is marginal with much inferior construction work, but at this time of the rainy season the drive is particularly inadvisable. As to whether or not you can plan a trip over this route at the end of a heavy rainy season based upon current highway condition reports, I can tell you from much experience that this is not a gamble you wish to take. Flooding and mudslides can happen at any time and you do not want to be stranded on rural sections of the Veracruz-Tuxtla Gutierrez autopistas overnight - especially when CAPUFE and The Green Angels are overextended because of weather-related highway obstructions.

I would just relax and wait a while. In October, things should improve. If you can wait, the countryside should be beautiful and green at that time of year.


dongringo_catemaco


Sep 17, 2010, 4:23 PM

Post #6 of 14 (6825 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Trip Plans and Flooding

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"At any time of year the Minatitlan-Tuxtla Gutierrez portion of the autopista is marginal with much inferior construction work"

You might as well be speaking about most Mexican highways that are traversed 365 days a year. The Mina - Tuxtla highway does not flood! It may get washed out and have mud slides, but you can expect that in any highland road in the rainy season, which incidentally goes into November, and does not turn off in September.

Drive the road, carefully, like any other road, and enjoy your trip.

Incidentally CAPUFE is one of the most transparent agencies in Mexico, and has both a web site with toll road and bridge problem notification and also a national 074 hotline you can call 24 hours a day to get current information. And believe it or not, they are on Facebook. Great people, even though they murder me with their toll charges.

http://www.capufe.gob.mx/ go to Consulta acidentalidad
Visit Catemaco News



RickS


Sep 17, 2010, 5:02 PM

Post #7 of 14 (6812 views)

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Re: [catemaco] Trip Plans and Flooding

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catemaco, I'm somewhat amazed to see you posting at 4pm the same day that hurricane Karl came plowing through. If you are in Catemaco, what are the conditions?


(This post was edited by RickS on Sep 18, 2010, 11:22 AM)


Vichil

Sep 17, 2010, 5:18 PM

Post #8 of 14 (6805 views)

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Re: [Sunnyvmx] Trip Plans and Flooding

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Juchitan and Tehuantepec were flooded last week look at www.elsurdiario.com.mx for updates. Tapachula and Arriega also had problems last week. Check www.cuartopoder.com.mx for updates.
The bridge in Tehuantepec has problems you can use the Salinas Ventosa libre with extreme caution.(as of 9/17/10)
September is one of the wettest month in Chiapas so you can expect lots of rain and cold weather in San Cristobal. The rains ease up in October.


(This post was edited by Vichil on Sep 17, 2010, 5:24 PM)


Hound Dog

Sep 17, 2010, 5:44 PM

Post #9 of 14 (6798 views)

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Re: [catemaco] Trip Plans and Flooding

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You might as well be speaking about most Mexican highways that are traversed 365 days a year. The Mina - Tuxtla highway does not flood! It may get washed out and have mud slides, but you can expect that in any highland road in the rainy season, which incidentally goes into November, and does not turn off in September.

I can assure you that the Minatitlan-Tuxtla Gutierrez autopista is one of the worst stretches of toll road in Mexico. Incomparably worse than any other stretch of completed autopista between Nuevo Laredo and Tuxtla Gutierrez via Puebla and Veracruz and then on to Tapachula near the border with Guatemala. In fact, the autopistas along this route are excellent in general except in certain parts of the Veracruz coastal plain where the wetlands are unstable and road maintenance is difficult.That highway was coming apart within months, perhaps weeks, after it was opened a few years ago, and was clearly built by corrupted contractors. It is an ongoing and serious local scandal in Chiapas widely reported in the local press. Chiapanecos have been up in arms over the inferior roadway for years because that inferior roadway is harmful for the state´s push for additional tourism and increased commerce. I have driven that road many times since 2005 and while the road has been improved somewhat since then, this substandard roadbed is prone to constant deterioration and anyone who drives it repeatedly knows that. I was going to suggest that the OP, in order to get to Tuxtla Gutierrez, drive instead through Oaxaca City through Tehuantepec and Juchitan but just recently, Highway 200 was flooded and closed. Alternatively one could drive through Tabasco and then through Palenque up to Ocosingo but they are experiencing serious flooding there now unless the situation has been remedied.

This has been a very difficult rainy season in Southern Mexico and they have had some terrible flooding and/or killer mudslides in Chiapas, Tabasco and Oaxaca State. Perhaps CAPUFE has the ear of God and can tell you for sure that Hurricane Karl will not make the situation even worse later this week.

By the way, despite the deplorable condition of some of the autopista from Minatitlan to Tuxtla Gutierrez (at least as of April of this year when we last drove it), I highly recommend this drive as one of the most beautiful mountainous drives in all of Mexico. Well worth the drive if the roadway is clear.

The true rainy season in Chiapas lasts from May to September (according to with whom you are speaking), not November regardless of bureacratic methods of measuring rainfall in any given season. Keep in mind, however, that some rains, no matter how intermittent, can occur at any time of the year in Chiapas which, incidentally, has a number of micro-cliimates ranging from tropical wetlands and forests to arid tropical forests and plains to cool to cold, temperate mountainous lands to protected rain forests to arid coastlands, some areas with copious rains and some more arid in character depending on weather phenomena and topographical issues.

We can report measurable rainfall at our homes both at Lake Chapala and in the Chiapas Highlands at the height of the dry season but, during the dry season (October to June at Lake Chapala and October to May in San Cristóbal generally speaking) the rain that occasionally occurs will be insufficient to cause flooding or earth movements so one can normally set off on road trips without concern as to floods or landslides.

Now, Sunny, you can believe anyone you wish to believe. No skin off my back.

I must say that I am responding to poster Catemaco who has a useful blog about the Catemaco area and the Tuxtlas. Well worth reviewing. Informative and sometimes amusing. believe this to be a beautiful area and enjoy detouring through there on my way from Chapala to Chiapas when I get a chance. In fact, in the past, I´ve recommended a detour there on the autopista from Fortin de Las Flores where we normally overnight, to Chiapas.The drive through San Andres Tuxtla and Catemaco is well worth the tourist´s time during the work week if the roads are clear. You can take this drive and access the autopista again at Acayucan and it is well worth the extra time. Maybe the next time we´ll overnight in that area. Maybe even stay a few days but then we must move on.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Sep 17, 2010, 7:09 PM)


dongringo_catemaco


Sep 17, 2010, 11:13 PM

Post #10 of 14 (6748 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Trip Plans and Flooding

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Makes no sense to warn anyone off a public road toll, unless it is of an immediate nature.
The Mina -Tuxtla road is a 3 hour drive and the only problem I ever faced was when the Netza dam access collapsed within a year of being built, plus the frequent landslides which have all been navigable. The worst part of the road has always been Acayucan to Mina, and still is.
As for weather, those bureaucrats at SMN stored 30 years of rainfall statistics.
Tapachula, Juchitan and like ilk are on the west coast and are not germane to the question asked.

And as for Catemaco. It got a little windy Saturday morning, but nothing to brag about. Read http://www.catemaco.info/diario.html (in Spanish)

SMS - Servicio Meteorologico Nacional go to precipitación (on the bottom)
Visit Catemaco News



Sunnyvmx


Sep 18, 2010, 6:41 AM

Post #11 of 14 (6727 views)

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Re: [catemaco] Trip Plans and Flooding

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I very much appreciate everyone's input and advice as that was the purpose of my post. It's my fault for not being more specific as to the trip planning that I've been doing for month's. What else is there to do in this rain. Trip one to Patzcuaro was aborted for trip two as the flooding became more apparent north of Catemaco and Karl was approaching the Yucatan as a tropical storm. Born and raised in Miami, FL, I am more than a little familiar with hurricanes.

Trip two was directly to the beaches on the West coast crossing the ithmus on Hwy 185 to get there. Mina, Cuatzacoalcos and Villahermosa have had flooding now for a while so that area was never a consideration. I was asking about the short crossing from Acayucan to the coast and then approaching Tuxtla G. and San Cristobal from there possibly returning by way of the coast. I know those of you who read spanish newspapers and see TV news reports would have information I was lacking and needed before continuing with any plans.

I now accept that any travel at this time must be postponed until water's subside. Flooding in Southern Mexico is just too wide spread for travel in any direction and that include's either coast. We have some time before his return to the States in mid Oct., if it's all spent here in Catemaco and on our own Gulf beaches, we could do worse.


Hound Dog

Sep 18, 2010, 1:46 PM

Post #12 of 14 (6676 views)

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Re: [catemaco] Trip Plans and Flooding

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Catemaco writes:

Makes no sense to warn anyone off a public road toll, unless it is of an immediate nature.

Immediate danger only appears immediately. If climatological conditions such as excessive rain and geological conditions such as the appearance of unstable earth movements warrant warning travelers off of roadbeds subject to dangerous conditions, then those warnings can come without advance notice as to life threatening situations. The notion that a "public" road is traversible without forewarning as to the dangers that might lie ahead in inclement weather is folly. How can someone living in the Catemaco region downplay the critical nature of road obstructions and life threatenening mudslides with their inherent dangers in isolated areas.


The Mina -Tuxtla road is a 3 hour drive and the only problem I ever faced was when the Nestza dam access collapsed within a year of being built, plus the frequent landslides which have all been navigable.

The Minatitlan-Tuxtla Gutierrez road only takes that long because the roadway is substandard with countless obstructions and baches that result in serious delays.

So the only problem faced during this person´s occasional travel on the Minatitlan-Tuxtla Gutierrez autopista is when the adjacent dam collapsed endangering all within the area with drowning or suffocating and frequent landslides. Sounds like a fine highway to me.

The worst part of the road has always been Acayucan to Mina, and still is.

Nonsense. The highway from Acayucan to Minatitlan is well constructed and a fine and easily negotiable highway.
In fact, the stretch of road adjacent to the Minatitlan exit is an extraordinarily beautiful stretch of autopista providing vistas of profoundly beatiful wetlands and estuaries The real problems occur beyond Minatitlan after the access road to Tuxtla Gutierrez from the Minatitlan-Villahermosa autopista. To assert otherwise is disingenuous. A nonsensical statement.

As for weather, those bureaucrats at SMN stored 30 years of rainfall statistics.


So? Confer upon us some of those statistics Catemaco.

For instance:

In the Coatzacoalcos-Tuxtla Gutierrez corridor, what is the average rainfall in June, July, August, September and October? What is the average rainfall in the months from November through April? Don´t make assertions you can´t support.
.
Tapachula, Juchitan and like ilk are on the west coast and are not germane to the question asked.

Are you trying to tell me that Juchitan is not an integral part of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec? Are you aware that the Isthmus of Tehuantepec was at one time an alternate route from the Atlantic to the Pacific with railheads in Coatzcoalcos and Salina Cruz and that access to Chiapas and Central America was limited to railways and roadways through the isthmus?

Perhaps Catemaco is a study requiring full time attention. You seem to be distracted.

This whole discourse has led me to attempt to write of the spectacular region from Minatitlan to Chiapas. A region of great beauty served poorly by posters because most have never really been there. Look for my comments on the Southern Mexico Forum.



(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Sep 18, 2010, 3:05 PM)


dongringo_catemaco


Sep 19, 2010, 5:12 AM

Post #13 of 14 (6576 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Trip Plans and Flooding

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The toll road Mex 195 from Teapa (near Minatitlan) to Tuxtla G is and has been open to thousands of travelers.

The only damage my step son saw last week on that stretch were a partial washout near Pichaculo, several mudlides, and a bunch of potholes, all pretty standard for mountain roads anywhere after extreme rain.

The Acayucan to Mina road is a nightmare of hydroplaning during any rain, because of the dozens of consistent repairs to the road and improper leveling.

As for immediacy, Mex 180 from near Cardel, Veracruz, and the toll road from Mexico City to Veracruz near Cordoba were closed, but are probably open again as of today.

It will rain app. 95% as much in October and 85% as much in November. See the link I provided in a previous post.

To repeat: the federal roads south of Catemaco are open and easily transitable by both visitors and national residents.

Come on down, and go on up, drive safely and have a good trip.
Visit Catemaco News



(This post was edited by catemaco on Sep 19, 2010, 8:25 AM)


piazzasj

Sep 20, 2010, 7:54 AM

Post #14 of 14 (6464 views)

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Re: [Sunnyvmx] Trip Plans and Flooding

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Just a quick note to thank everyone for the info. We are also planning a trip from Guatemala to the USA and found all of the info very useful. We saw a news article that part of the road near Nautla was washed out. If anyone has additional info on that topic please update us.
 
 
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