Now, months later, some migrants hoping to start over in the United States say the hurricanes are a big reason behind their decision to head north.
"You always dream about living in a house with your children. Now we have nothing," a Honduran mother said
from a bus station in Brownsville, Texas, after crossing the border with her 6-year-old daughter.
"(Hurricane) Eta -- plus the pandemic -- left us with nothing," a Honduran father told CNN en Español shortly after US authorities deported him and his family to Reynosa, Mexico.
These voices from the border are a reminder of two important contributors to this crisis that haven't gotten much attention, even as political debate heats up: climate change and Covid-19.
Powerful, back-to-back hurricanes in November
exacted a heavy toll on a region already suffering from the economic devastation of the pandemic.
That's making the situation unfolding now at the US-Mexico border even more complicated. Here's how:
Two intense hurricanes displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Now some of them are migrating
It's a possibility political leaders in Central America and experts on climate migration began warning of as soon as Hurricane Eta and Hurricane Iota struck.
Months ago, a Honduran doctor who spoke with CNN said there wasn't any doubt the storms were going to spur more migration.
"So much famine is coming because the last harvest was lost. There is no capacity to store anything. Prices were already skyrocketing. ... I don't want to think about what's going on through the minds of those who lost everything," nutrition specialist Dr. Maria Angélica Milla said in November. "Prepare for the waves."
Climate change itself is rarely the lone driving factor behind migration, says Kayly Ober, program manager of Refugees International's Climate Displacement Program. But in exacerbating existing issues, it can play into people's decisions.
"In the case of Hurricanes Eta and Iota, yes, the pure intensity of the scale and impact was definitely impacted by climate change," she says. "That wrought a level of destruction that was unheard of in some parts of the region."