Hurricane Patricia Oct. 23, just approaching the SW Mexico Coast
Photo credit: The Weather Channel
With a Category 5 hurricane “packing 200 mph winds, the U.S. National Hurricane Center labeled Patricia as the ‘strongest hurricane on record’ in the Atlantic and eastern North Pacific Basins,” quoting NBC News. The storm has maximum sustained winds which reached an unprecedented 200 mph (320 kph).
Seattle’s hometown airline, Alaska Airlines operates the only nonstop service from Seattle to this popular vacation area for Washingtonians, and has suspended all air service, as has Delta, American, United and Southwest Airlines, only to resume service when conditions are safe to return, which could be quite some time. The September 2014 hurricane to strike Los Cabos was a Category 3 hurricane, much less damaging than Patricia and struck the resort area with hotels up on a bluff. That area was able to re-open within 2 months. Puerto Vallarta’s hotels are mostly beachfront, which will take a direct hit from sea, a huge surf/storm surge and winds. Infrastructure, electricity, transportation, food, water, shelter and communication are expected to be disrupted for an extended period. Several beachfront hotels are evacuating their guests inland to Guadalajara.
Alaska Airlines was allowed to ferry-in an evacuation flight from LAX this morning to bring back American tourists to the fom Puerto Vallarta, who otherwise would be stranded. Puerto Vallarta Int’l Airport officially closed at noon local time today.
* Alaska Airlines most up-to-date information for operations in Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo & Ixtapa can be found on their blog.
* Delta Airlines Mexico airports updates from Seattle via Salt Lake City & LAX, click here.
* United Airlines updates for their Houston hub, Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana operations, click here.
* Southwest Airlines service suspension/updates at Puerto Vallarta, click here.
* American Airlines service suspension/updates at Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan, click here.
Blogger Klein is a Delta Airlines Diamond Elite patron, an Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan member and a United Airlines Mileage Plus member.