(WVUE) - A Louisiana couple who lost everything in Katrina now brace for one of the worst storms on record.
Jennifer and Michael Methe are at a resort in Punta Mita, Mexico, about 200 miles north of the eye of the storm's projected landfall.
"We had wonderful weather yesterday, and Wednesday evening was terrific," Jennifer Methe said. "And overnight I got the call about 1 a.m. to pack up the bags."
The couple's vacation of sun and sand turned into a desperate rush to get out of the country.
"We were heading out on a charter flight this morning, but by the time we got to breakfast the airport had shut down, so we were just going to ride it out," Methe said.
Evacuations have been taking place all day in the areas in the path of the mammoth storm. A State Department spokesman said tens of thousands of Americans are believed to be vacationing in vulnerable areas.
But the Methes have been through this before.
"We lived in Meraux for Katrina - been there my whole life," Methe said. "We did not stay. We evacuated to western Louisiana. But we did lose our house, and everybody in our family lost everything and has been separated. It's stressful to know what could happen."
The warning sirens in Puerta Villarta were too far for the Methes to hear, about an hour away from their resort, but resort officials urged guests to prepare for what could come.
"There are 472 guests at the hotel currently about to be put in the room together," Methe said. "It's two meeting rooms. They've boarded up the outside area of the hotel, they'll provide us with mattresses, pillows and blankets. They're doing everything to make us as comfortable as possible."
Weather reports from the National Weather Service in Mexico paint a grim picture of the damage that a storm packing winds of more than 200 mph can do.
"Panic," Methe said. "I was extremely scared - it took me for a surprise. I don't even know if I would have come on this trip if [I had known] it was a possibility."
Methe said the trip to Punta Mita was a reward trip for her husband's company.
"I guess the main concern is not the storm, but what happens afterwards if there is damage to the airport, because that's a lot further south than where we are," Methe said.
The hurricane is forecast to make landfall in the Mexican state of Jalisco Friday evening as a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane.