Tis that time of the year, when we can get an occasional uninvited visitor. I am talking about a tropical storm or hurricane. A tropical storm just got a name: Earl. It is heading due west towards the Yucatan Peninsula, where it might make a direct hit. Its forecast track takes it just north of the Bay Islands of Honduras. Hopefully it will skirt the islands and not ruffle to many feathers. If you are a traveler visiting Honduras, you are asking yourself What should I do?
First of all, I am not the local authority and therefore any advice I can give you is unofficial. For direct government information, check out the Copeco facebook page. Please note that Copeco has already issued a Tropical Storm Warning. This warning applies for the Bay Islands and the entire North Coast of Honduras. This means that you can expect stormy conditions within the next 18 hours. That means that by 4 a.m tomorrow storm conditions may affect the Moskito Coast of Honduras. The Bay Islands of Honduras and the cities of Trujillo, La Ceiba, Tela and Puerto Cortes will feel the effect a few hours later.
A Tropical Storm means that winds will be below the 65 mile per hour threshold, and are not life threatening. However, the amount of possible rainfall can cause flash floods and life threatening conditions. The sea surf will be way up, and you do not want to be in the water, or on an a boat while the storm is going on. So if you have a boat or yacht, look for safe anchorage NOW! If you planned to travel anytime between tomorrow, August 3rd and August 4th, you should consider changing your plans. For one, the port authorities will close the ports. This most likely means that neither the Utila Dream or the Galaxy Wave will be operating on those days. (Once again, this is an assumption; I cannot assure you there will not be ferry service). If they can operate, prepare yourself for a rough passage!
Are you are planning on hiking in the rain forests and National Parks? Consider that small creeks can grow fast, and take a couple of days to get back to normal. You could find that crossing over a small stream or creek is not possible or downright dangerous.
Roadwork is going on in many of Honduras’ highways. This means that the road sides may not be as stable as you think. Furthermore, the roads are more vulnerable to landslides during a strong tropical rain.
If possible do not travel tomorrow or the day after, just in case… In short, keep your ears open and follow the local news NOW! Fuel up your car, and buy any goods you might need, especially water. Water sources are usually damaged with these storms. Service can be discontinued while they make the necessary repairs to the distribution system. I hope my suggestions are useful as you prepare, because like it or not, Tropical Storm Earl is coming our way!