Hurricane Patricia made landfall Friday on a sparsely populated stretch of Mexico's Pacific coast as a Category 5 storm, avoiding direct hits on the resort city of Puerto Vallarta and major port city of Manzanillo as it weakened to tropical storm force while dumping torrential rains that authorities warned could cause deadly floods and mudslides.
DENVER - Thousands of travelers are making their way home after Hurricane Patricia made landfall, causing Puerto Vallarta's airport to shut down.
While the storm mostly missed the resort city, tourists spent Friday hunkering down in hotel rooms.
One month after vowing to weather the storms of marriage together, Brant and Bethany Burgess had no idea how literal that would become.
On the tail end of their honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta, hotel staff told the couple to prepare for the worst.
“They told us there was a tropical storm coming,” Bethany Burgess said. “They told us to pack pillows and blankets and just our passports and our backpack and we would be going to a university, east, to get away from the coast and to stay in our rooms until they called us.”
What started as a tropical storm quickly turned into a Category 5 hurricane. In town, authorities evacuated the streets as thousands of others fled homes and beachfront resorts.
“They said this was going to be worse than Katrina,” Bethany Burgess said.
Back in their hotel room, the newlyweds learned there were no longer any ways out of the city.
“They told everybody, the place we were supposed to go is going to be used for locals so we are just going to stay in the hotel,” Bethany Burgess said.
With a mattress in front of the window, the couple roomed with new friends from down the hall.
“This is what we have to do and we've got each other and we had our friends and just stick it out,” Bethany Burgess said.
Now that the storm's behind them, the newlyweds look for only sunshine ahead.
“It could have been a lot worse so we are really lucky honestly,” Bethany Burgess said.
“Probably made it a little more memorable. I mean there's, you know, we'll always have a story to tell,” Brant Burgess said.
Luckily, Hurricane Patricia slammed into a stretch of sparsely populated coastline.
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