Ambergris Caye, Belize businesses and residents thought we were in the “all clear” as far as Tropical Storm Harvey is concerned. Technically we were, however, as it increased to a category 4 Hurricane and reeked havoc over Houston, there has been some unfortunate fallout. Not only have many of our Texan friends and family been dealing with hard times, several local Belize businesses have been faced with last minute cancellations and the country has lost some tourist revenue.
Travelers Hit Hard by Harvey
Many vacationers are suffering losses from both USA and Belize as a result of the storm, due to airport closures resulting in flight and resort cancellations.
Local businesses are faced with carrying out policies relating to weather related trip cancellations. For some vacationers, unfortunately this meant loss. The damage cost a few travelers their international flights as well. This unfortunate event did give one couple, a travel related silver lining, they did not end up being out of pocket for anything.
Yesterday I got a private message from Bo and Lori Puckett telling me they had to cancel their trip. Sadly the travel insurance they had purchased ended up being worthless and they won’t be reimbursed. If Belize had been hit or their house burned down, they were covered. Houston being completely under water and shut down by weather, not covered. Crazy.
As for their accommodations, The Palms Oceanfront Suites was willing to work with them and offered the Puckett’s to use their booked days within a certain time frame. Unfortunately time off within the date range to come back and do so is not an option for the couple.
Sorry you were faced with this vacation loss Bo and Lori – wishing you a windfall and the time off to use it to make up for your lost Belize Vacation.
This morning I was asked by traveler Robbie Gondeck if it is common practice for hotels not to refund canceled reservations due to weather disasters. I told her that really depends on the place and their individual policies. Robbie went on to tell me how she had wished they hadn’t strayed from their usual, The Palms. She and her husband Lorne both love the place and their entire staff and are already booked there in October and January. This time however, they had decided to try the north side for their short trip. Unfortunately this decision has left them still trying to resolve their cancellation with the resort.
Here’s hoping you get a fair and usable outcome Robbie and Lorne.
Accommodations reimbursement update (after post first published): Robbie just messaged me to say that Lorne got an answer from Belizean Shores. They gave them a full refund.
As for their flights, Robbie reported Tropic Air was great and reservations quickly changed the couples flight dates to their next planned trip. There were no issues with international flights either, Southwest Airlines canceled and offered the Gondecks a refund.
Houston Airport Closure and Reopening Information
George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) Houston, Texas. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) status: closed as of Aug 28 at 09:38 AM CDT.
William P Hobby Airport (HOU)- Houston, Texas – Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) status: closed as of Aug 27 at 04:27 PM CDT.
Both airports are expecting to resume limited domestic flights as of 4:00 pm today, August 30th and aiming for full service by this weekend. I am crossing my fingers for full service, so my incoming company does not get delayed or anyone else planning to fly to Belize this weekend 🙂
If you need further updates for your upcoming flight out of Houston, Texas, click through for airport and flight updates on Federal Aviation Administration website and Houston Airport Status Information.
The Ripple Effect
Imagine all the fates changed from the close to a staggering 10,000 flights having been canceled nationwide this past week. Approximately 8,700 of those were from from Houston’s two airports, that is a huge ripple in many systems and lives. Courier Journal published an informative article (August 28th), on the potential ripple effects of Harvey’s unwanted visit could have nationally in the U.S.
Thoughts After Hurricane Harvey
I have been under storm threats a few times my 11.5 + years living in Belize. While I have not experienced that degree of flooding, I have been almost to my knees on more than one occasion, thankfully never inside my house. It is not lost, what so many people and animals are facing right now. I can sympathize and only imagine the risks and challenges to overcome. Condolences to anyone who has had to deal with flight and hotel cancellations, extreme flooding, loss of property, and especially to the families who have lost loved ones.
Hurricane Harvey Hoax
Hard to imagine people would spread fake news during a real emergency situation, and use someones purposefully manufactured climate change work to do it, but sadly it is happening.
The image below is making it’s way through “social media land” and misleading many people into thinking it is the current state of Hobby Airport in Houston after Hurricane Harvey. It could be believable if you have never been there and knowing the area has just been hit by a category 4 storm.
Do not believe everything you see. While the airport was affected and shut down by the hurricane, it was no where near as severe as the digital image below, portrays.
The truth behind the image, it was digitally created by Nickolay Lamm as part of a series on the effect of rising sea levels. The location is actually LaGuardia Airport Queens, New York.
Top of page featured image – Hobby Airport Houston after Hurricane Harvey. Image source: Tony’s 24/7 Eyes