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    O.T. - Dean is Nasty

    By Catherine Bremer 1 hour, 36 minutes ago


    PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico (Reuters) - Hurricane Dean strengthened into a monster Category 5 storm on Monday, threatening beach resorts on Mexico's Caribbean coast where thousands of tourists were huddled in makeshift shelters.
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    Dean, which has killed 11 people so far on Caribbean islands, packed howling winds of around 160 mph (256 kph), as it bore down on the Yucatan Peninsula, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
    Police ordered vehicles off the road and supermarket owners boarded up their windows on the "Mayan Riviera," a strip of beach resorts with bright white sands that is yet to fully recover from the devastation of Hurricane Wilma in 2005.
    Category 5 is the strongest type of hurricane and can cause widespread damage. Dean was due to make landfall in a marshy area near Mexico's border with Belize early on Tuesday. The state government declared a night curfew in the area.
    Four hundred tourists crowded for refuge in a hotel in the resort of Playa del Carmen, with sometimes up to a dozen people per room.
    "We're not happy about the conditions," said Kelly Bianchi, 30, a customer service agent and resident of New Orleans. She complained of a lack of information: "They don't tell us anything."
    The looming storm brought back nightmare memories of Wilma, the strongest Atlantic storm recorded, which wrecked Cancun and other beach resorts. It washed away whole beaches, killed seven people and caused $2.6 billion in damages.
    "A Category 5 is horrible. We've been through that," said . Marcos Ruiz, 31, a tourism ministry official in Tulum, just north of Dean's path. "The wind is so strong you can't breathe."
    Popular with European tourists, Tulum was particularly in danger as many of its arty hotels and cabins are built next to the sea.
    BELIZE THREATENED
    Thousands of tourists and local residents were told to go to 2,000 shelters across the Yucatan Peninsula,
    The sea around the island of Cozumel, normally busy with yachts, diving boats and cruise ships, was ominously free of vessels as the waves became choppy and the sky darkened.
    Mexico is closing and evacuating all of its 407 oil and gas wells in the Campeche Sound due to Hurricane Dean, meaning lost production of 2.65 million barrels of crude per day.
    Heavy rain began falling in Belize, a former British colony that is home to some 250,000 people and a famous barrier reef.
    The Belizean government encouraged people to move inland and long lines of cars formed the highways heading west toward higher ground in the capital of Belmopan and San Ignacio, a town close to the jungly Guatemalan border.
    Dean swiped Jamaica at the weekend with howling winds and pelting rain. Roads were blocked by toppled trees and power poles and police said two people, a 14-year-old girl and a 44-year-old farmer, were killed.
    That took the death toll from Dean to eleven. Haiti was worst hit with four people dead there.

    Mexican President Felipe Calderon was to cut short a visit to Canada, where he met President George W. Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, to return home on Tuesday to oversee the emergency effort.
    The U.S. space shuttle Endeavour is to return to Earth from the International Space Station a day early in case the storm forces NASA to evacuate its Houston center.
    Some 70,000 tourists have fled Cancun and the nearby area in recent days but the resort, whose five-star hotels were gutted by ferocious wind and waves in 2005, was not forecast to take a major hit this time around.
    Poor local residents with badly built homes are often the worst hit by hurricanes in Mexico.
    "Let's see if the house can stand it. If not, we'll go to the shelter," said Luisa Villafana, 27, an office cleaner who shares a thatched-roof home with eight other people near the town of Felipe Carrillo Puerto. Category 5 hurricanes are rare but in 2005 there were four, including Katrina which devastated New Orleans. The number of high power storms is reinforcing research that suggests global warming may increase the strength of tropical cyclones.


    CFH HMagic bball season next year.
    Let my Fred's Four Horsemen ride: Georges, Hogue, Nader, and McKay.

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    Re: O.T. - Dean is Nasty

    Prays that it stays south like they are predicting....



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    Re: O.T. - Dean is Nasty

    That really sucks, because it looks like Dean is going to run right smack dab into where my wife and I honeymooned almost a year ago - the Iberostar resort at Riviera Maya.


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    Re: O.T. - Dean is Nasty

    Get ready for a spike in gas prices.



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    Re: O.T. - Dean is Nasty

    So we don't have an offensive tackle named Dean that is nasty? Dagnabit.



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    Re: O.T. - Dean is Nasty

    My wife and I honeymooned at Playa del Carmen last summer and you could still see all of the damage from Hurricane Wilma. Its terrible that they are getting hit again.




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    Re: O.T. - Dean is Nasty

    We went to jamaica a few years back right after Ivan. It was a mess. There was hardly any vegetation left. The trees were stripped bare. Then I saw pics from it 6 months later, it is like it never happend.


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    Re: O.T. - Dean is Nasty

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyano View Post
    My wife and I honeymooned at Playa del Carmen last summer and you could still see all of the damage from Hurricane Wilma. Its terrible that they are getting hit again.
    Playa del Carmen actually isn't too far from where we stayed - we were like a 15 minute bus trip south of there. We actually went on a shopping trip to Playa del Carmen. Pretty town still trying to make repairs. But the street vendors will do almost ANYTHING to make a sale...


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    Re: O.T. - Dean is Nasty

    Boy everyone has been to mexico except me. Anyone enjoy it more than than say Jamaica? Wife and I are trying to figure out where we are going this spring. I had thought about mexico, but I really don't like the idea of a huge resort.


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    Re: O.T. - Dean is Nasty

    Quote Originally Posted by brianhos View Post
    Boy everyone has been to mexico except me. Anyone enjoy it more than than say Jamaica? Wife and I are trying to figure out where we are going this spring. I had thought about mexico, but I really don't like the idea of a huge resort.
    Riviera Maya Mexico is beautiful. And trust me - you should get over the idea of not liking the huge resort. for $2000, we were flown to Cancun and back, stayed at a 5 star resort, and were fed three buffet-style meals a day plus snack bar and room service. Plus they have special "specialized restaurants" which you can eat three of your dinners (we had Brazilian, Mediterranean, and Japanese). They also offer discounted tour packages. I got to go see Chichen Itza one day and take my wife swimming with the dolphins on another day.

    There is almost nothing better in this world than the all-inclusive resort.


    Chuck Lidell: I paint my toenails with pink and black polish. Problem is, I get more paint on my toes and on the carpet than on my nails. Any advice?
    Maria Sharapova: Don't you beat up other guys for a living? I don't know how to answer this.



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