The Localist

How to survive Mexico City’s torrential summer rains—in 7 steps

MEX - KB - summer rains

It’s a well-known fact that Mexico City was built on top of a lake. But not so many know that it practically reverts back to its original state every summer. The entire city floods—really. So no matter how hard you may try, it’s unlikely you’ll escape the rains, nor the massive flooding. Yet, there are some steps you can take to make your stay a bit more agreeable.

  1. ALWAYS pack an umbrella. Sure, the sun will be shining in the morning, not a cloud in the sky, so why would you need to have an umbrella? Well, trust me, come 3 pm, the sky will start to darken, the winds will pick up and the torrential rains will fall. BEWARE OF AFTERNOONS IN THE CITY.
  1. Invest in some rain boots. Pick a color that will go with the majority of your wardrobe, if you feel so inclined. But no matter what, you will be happy you did, even if they don’t quite match. Because what they fail to tell you about this city is that it floods. And it floods quite badly. You might not have any direction in which to walk to avoid the floodwaters—and that’s pretty normal.
  1. Take a jacket. It may be summer, but those relentless rains aren’t warm. They will chill your bones, especially after getting stuck in an unexpected downpour. The afternoons are agreeable, but the nights get cold quite quickly. And say goodbye to looking pretty. No matter how prepared you are, you will most likely still get wet and ruin your clothes somehow in the rain. Why waste your good stuff?
  1. Never forget your cash. You’ll be thanking me when that lightning and thunder come out of nowhere. Grab a taxi to the nearest coffee shop and wait it out there, instead of in the traffic.
  1. Don’t count on the metro. When the streets flood, so do the tracks on which the metro rides. Expect long delays.
  1. Learn how to run all your errands before 3 or 4 pm. This is when the sky starts to darken and the flooding is just around the corner. It’s best to avoid leaving your home or office in the afternoon; instead, wait until the evening.
  1. Stay away from the street corners. Remember how I told you that the streets are notorious for flooding? Well, it doesn’t seem to bother the drivers, taxis especially. They will drive through even the largest puddles at ungodly speeds, drenching you in the process. Keep away from the street if possible.

Got any other suggestions for me? I’m all ears.

MEX_KatieBielamowicz_M

 

MEET THE LOCAL: KATIE BIELAMOWICZ

 

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