Category 5 Dean Slams into Mexico

Hurricane Dean slammed into a relatively unpopulated portion of the Yucatan Peninsula with winds topping an extraordinary 165 MPH and gusts reaching 200 MPH.

It is the strongest Atlantic storm in two decades. Fortunately, the eye made landfall north of most of the main tourist sites in a largely rural area of Mexico.

The storm is racing across the peninsula, already weakening to a category 3 storm and is expected to hit the Gulf at the Bay of Campeche sometime this afternoon. This might spell trouble for Mexico's oil industry as their are several dozen offshore rigs in the Bay.

Once in th warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, there is a chance that the storm will re-organize and strengthen again:

The hurricane center said Dean could gain power as it crosses the Bay of Campeche and would likely be a major hurricane when it makes landfall a second time on Wednesday. The storm's track would carry it into the central Mexican coast about 400 miles south of the Texas border

"We often see that when a storm weakens, people let down their guard completely. You shouldn't do that," said Jamie Rhome, a hurricane specialist. "This storm probably won't become a Category 5 again, but it will still be powerful."
 Even though the storm is expected to pass far to the south of Texas, the monster is so huge that the state could still be in for a considerable amount of rain. This on the heels of sqaulls that have dumped up to 12 inches in some parts of the state where flooding has been blamed in the death of 6 people.

Damages from the storm so far exceed $1.5 billion according to Risk Management Solutions with Jamaica bearing the brunt of damages so far. That may change if the storm causes significant damage to Mexico's oil industry.

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