Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Awaiting Dean
It's 3 a.m., and my producer Kelly, my two photographers Effie and Orly, and I are sleeping on a hard floor in a $10 a night residential motel in Tulum, Mexico, which is about to get struck by a massive hurricane.

We have about three hours to sleep before the winds in this small town reach their maximum level and we're back on the air reporting what we witness. We're on the floor because the only room that was left has no furniture. But we took it, because we felt it was one of the safest structures to work out of when the hurricane hits.

Tulum is known for its Mayan architectural ruins, which were built on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico many centuries ago. But when I think of Tulum as I try to sleep on this floor tonight, I think of the frightened children in this town, who in many cases are also now awake, as the winds start to howl and their very modest homes start to shake.

For the people of Tulum and throughout the Yucatan, the darkness must be especially scary right now.

-- By Gary Tuchman, CNN Correspondent
Posted By CNN: 6:43 AM ET
  20 Comments
Hey Gary

Im sitting on the other side of the world (India) trying to catch the news every now & then for word on Hurricane Dean. It's heartbreaking to know that the damage will be done. And that lives will be changed in lots of ways. We've been watching diff parts of our own country & neighbouring Bangladesh go thru' the worse floods, over the last month.
It seems kind of surreal the way we wake up every morning to a new natural disaster, or some other catastrophe in different parts of the world.
Still...all these miles away, we pray that that the storm will pass, & the human spirit will prevail.
Stay safe. Stay strong!
Posted By Avril Lobo, Mumbai, India : 10:20 AM ET
Gary I am in awe of you. You've had such a rough couple of weeks! Thankfully the hurricane didn't do too much damage in Tulum...

On a lighter note, your photographers have cool names :)
Posted By Evelyn, DSM, IA : 10:37 AM ET
Gary,

I have been to the beautiful ruins in Tulum on a day when it was hotter than heck and the Caribbean Sea looked like blue glass sparkling in the sun. Not the conditions you are experiencing. Stay safe and thank you to you and your crew for bringing us the story up close and personal. You have covered some tough stories lately. Put in your vacation request before something else happens.
Posted By Charlotte D, Stockton CA : 10:38 AM ET
Gary,
Good to see that CNN really goes all out for you! LOL $10.00 dollars a night!! Come on CNN...take better care of your people than that!! LOL

No...but really I hope you stay safe and am looking forward to seeing your reports on this horrendous hurricane. I hope everyone their escapes without too much damage!! And I hope the Mayan ruins can withstand those winds!! I'd hate to lose them!

Stay safe!!

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Cindy : 10:49 AM ET
Hi Gary,
That's always the worst thing about a hurricane. It destroys the shelter and security of so many, in such a short time. I pray no one dies from yet again another wild act of Mother Nature. Thanks for the reporting, I think you've earned a vacation.
Posted By Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 10:56 AM ET
Bless you for doing the fascinating - albeit hazardous work you do. I know this sounds hard, but those people knew this hurrucane was coming; we've all watched it build for days. The "undocumented" workers here in U.S. pump billions of dollars back into the Mexico economy. Doesn't the Mexican bureacracy tax those dollars spent and provide at least the social services of making means for these poor people to temporarily move to higher ground?
Posted By c.j. - miami, fl : 11:32 AM ET
Normally when a weather event is about to happen I hope that the residents can escape in time, and think of their safety.

But with reporters such as yourself, I live vicariously and think, "oh I can't wait to see what it's like to ride the storm out through someone's eyes who is there!"


Nevertheless, I wish you a safe stay. Don't do anything crazy!
Posted By Kelli - San Francisco, Ca. : 11:36 AM ET
You guys are nuts !
Posted By Shar --- Hartford, Ct. : 11:37 AM ET
Dear Gary...
We are afraid of the awful power of a "Hurricane Dean." Sadly,even our most highly educated guesses often go disastrously wrong...
Sincerely,hope it won't cause a lot of fatal damage.
Thank you again for your vivid report. Take care sir
Posted By jung-hae kim, seoul south korea : 11:38 AM ET
I read the article on the cnn.com main page, "Dean charges across Mexico" and one line caught my eye.



before re-emerging in the Gulf of Mexico !!

Will you be reporting on the possibility of Dean hitting the US? Where do you think it will hit? can we expect it to become a "monster" strength storm again?

Thank you for all your hard work; get some sleep before you and your crew move on.
Posted By Ashley, Texarkana : 11:42 AM ET
All I can think of when I see reports like this is the line from that song,
"BLESS THE BEASTS AND THE CHILDREN"


Good work, Gary and crew
Posted By Steve - Peoria, IL : 11:44 AM ET
Gary, can you report on which names will be used for future tropical storms and hurricanes this year (or link to the list of names somewhere on the blog) ?

I was wondering whether or not they're going to use Anderson when they get down to the 'A' s ... :)
Posted By Kelli - San Francisco, ca. : 11:47 AM ET
Gary,
How do you get these fun assignments? From Warren Jeffs hunting, to going inside the mine, to standing on the beach waiting for the hurricane! I know I speak for many people when I say thank you for your seemingly tireless reporting.

Speaking of Tulum, I hope that the town and it's people ride out the storm without too much damage. I have taken several trips to the Mayan ruins at Tulum as part of my work, as a historian of Mayan culture. I hope the ruins come thru with little damage so we can continue our work. However, human lives are more important above all, so stay safe and thanks for standing out in the rain for us all!
Posted By Nancy, Archaeological Society of America : 11:56 AM ET
Gary- Please let us how we can help. I can only send a few dollars, since Im a poor student, but I think we could raise a lot if all Andersons viewers chip in. God Bless!
Posted By Caleb, Little Rock, AR : 12:08 PM ET
Good Morning Gary~
I wish you the best during this hurricane. Isn't it interesting how quickly a country like Mexico can be up and running again after a hurricane and the most powerful country in the world can't decide what to do during a disaster? Hmm, something to ponder. . .
Posted By Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX : 12:09 PM ET
We appreciate your awesome reporting Gary, both in the mine and here in Mexico. Your poor family must worry.

p.s. Thanks for reading my comment on the air, Anderson!
Posted By Riley Randolph, Exeter, MA. : 12:10 PM ET
LOL at Cindy's comment that "CNN goes all out for you ----- $10.00 a night!! "


But Cindy, don't you think there's no other hotel still open?!

Hope you and your camera crew stay safe, Gary. Although no one wants you to blow away, I look forward to seeing you right in eye of the storm.
Posted By Missy -Fairfield, Ct. : 12:14 PM ET
OK seriously Gary, when was the last time you ACTUALY slept. You have been working non stop for the past 2 weeks and we all really appreciate all your hard work to bring us these stories.

I hope you and your team stay safe.

By the way, you were looking pretty fine in your orange rain coat last night ;)
Posted By Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada : 12:18 PM ET
Hi Gary,

You guys be careful and stay safe. I want to thank CNN for keep us up to date on the storm.

Jennifer- From Anderson, South Carolina.
Posted By bluediamond (Jennifer) : 2:13 PM ET
you put yourself in harm's way, pretty stupid guys if you get hurt, oh well! you asked for it!
Posted By Mark, Sacramento, CA : 4:23 PM ET
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