Keith passed over San Pedro on October 1st and already San Pedro Town is just about back on track. The hardworking people of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye are anxious to reopen all their businesses and resume their normal lifestyles.
Despite the daily showers during the days following Keith, people have been up and around working hard. Repairs and reconstruction are taking place. The energy and high spirit within the community is highly contagious. Several houses have even put up Halloween decorations for the coming festivities!
The majority of streets are cleared and in good condition with there being no evidence of Hurricane Keith on the main street. Crews are working continuously to clear the debris to the north and south of town, and hotels on the east side are hard at work to repair damage to roofs and gardens. On the west side of the island which received greater damage, arrangements are being made for alternative housing for the people of San Pedro who work in the tourism industry. "What we need now is to get back to work," commented Pablo, a bartender, at one of the hotels.
The long stretch of beach has been cleaned and raked. Seaside docks and piers remain standing in the sea with minimal damage. Several thatch-roofed palapas that stood on the end of the piers have blown off. Amazingly, some sturdy ones are still standing and others may just need to be re-thatched. The majority of the coconut trees that cover the island were affected by the strong breezes - browning in spots and looking like "their fronds need to be combed". The good news is that the majority of them will recover within a couple months. The Belize Hotel Association has already started preparations to replant trees, shrubs and flowering plants.
With the lovely sunshine since October 16th, vendors are out on the streets selling fresh tamales. Shops, delis, and several gift shops are open for business. The smell of barbecued lobster and chicken is in the air as groups prepare food for sale. Telephone service has been restored to the majority of the island and the Belize Electricity Board is working hard to restore full power. It is estimated that most of the town should have full power by early November and until then the sale of alcohol is banned and a curfew remains in effect between 8:00p.m. and 6:00 a.m until further notice.
The sea appears crystal clear aquamarine, just as before. Divers that have been out diving since Keith report that the Barrier Reef is just as beautiful as ever. The dive shops are currently operational and running.
Damage to hotels was varied and as a result, individual hotels each have their own opening dates. They should be contacted for these.
To search this board by hotel name, click below: http://ambergriscaye.com/cgi-bin/search.cgi?action=intro&default=2
If you cannot reach them by email, please remember that several do not have power, but can be reached by telephone.
The residents of San Pedro are primed and ready to take care of you on your upcoming vacation.
[This message has been edited by Marty (edited 10-18-2000).]