Skip to main content

Canada Canadian flights scheduled to resume after Hurricane Patricia weakens

Passengers pass in front of departures screen indicating cancelled flights in Guadalajara, Mexico October 24, 2015. Patricia, one of the strongest ever hurricanes, crashed into western Mexico with rain and winds of up to 165 mph (266 kph), hammering coastal areas but skirting major cities and causing less damage than feared.

EDGARD GARRIDO/REUTERS

Hours after hurricane Patricia came ashore, Canadians living on Mexico's west coast spent Saturday enjoying the sunshine and counting themselves lucky.

Forecasts had predicted the resort community of Puerto Vallarta would be hit by gale-force winds and torrential downpours, but the Category 5 storm dissipated after making landfall Friday night in a relatively low-populated stretch of the Jalisco state coast near Cuixmala.

Ontario native Arthur Fumerton put duct tape on the windows of his Puerto Vallarta home and hunkered down to ride out what was supposed to be the worst hurricane ever recorded in the western world.

Story continues below advertisement

Fumerton, the director of a before and after school program called the Volcanes Community Education Project, said schools were closed Friday, and several buildings and hotels downtown were evacuated.

By 2 or 3 p.m., there were few people left on the roads and everyone seemed to be bracing for the storm that never came.

"We got a little rain, no wind. And it's a beautiful, sunny day today. Everything's normal," Fumerton said Saturday. "We're lucky. Very lucky."

Preparing for the hurricane was a community endeavour, said April Miton, a former resident of Chilliwack, B.C.

"This community, all of Puerto Vallarta, everybody leapt up to the challenge to make sure that when this recorded worst hurricane ever was coming, everybody took care of everybody, made sure everyone was going to be safe," said Miton, who runs Casa Leta Suites about 25 minutes north of downtown Puerto Vallarta.

People helped one another board up windows and store food and water. Miton and her husband Bill took in a family who had been moved from their condo downtown.

The Mitons have had several hurricane warnings since moving to Mexico in 2006, but this one was different.

Story continues below advertisement

"We've always taken precautions but never to the extent that we felt we needed to this time," April Miton said.

The couple recently completed renovations on their home, and there was worry that the storm would ruin the work.

"One of our main sources of panic had been that our brand new solar panels were going to go flying off to who knows where. We thought they were going to end up in Texas," Miton said. "But thankfully that didn't happen."

In the end, the Mitons and their guests road out the storm playing dominos on the back patio. A ceiling fan whirred overhead because there wasn't a lick of wind.

"Yet again, we dodged a major bullet. We are, once again, very thankful," Miton said.

The impending storm closed Puerto Vallarta's airport, forcing WestJet to cancel one flight on Friday and five on Saturday and scuttling travel plans for Canadians hoping to escape to the popular tourist destination.

Story continues below advertisement

Spokesman Robert Palmer says the airline will operate six flights to Puerto Vallarta on Sunday and 700 passengers have been placed on those flights.

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick says the airline didn't have to cancel any flights because of Hurricane Patricia. A Sunday Air Canada flight from Toronto to the Mexican vacation destination will go ahead as scheduled.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter