The big blow two nights ago was impressive all right ---- I thought it was a him-a-cane (smaller and less powerful than it's female counterpart)
But seriously folks - as much as we find the rain an drag on the island, we are not below sea level and we can always declare island time and take a day off. The folks in Belize City are below sea level and have a more interesting/serious challenge - the article below from Channel 5 on Friday tells quite a story. BUT even more concerning is that it's been raining almost non-stop for 48 hours since this article appeared! Read on ........
A City Deluged!
Two weather systems hovering off the country's coast have been causing heavy rains form last night and throughout today. Now forecasters say it'll be like this for another 24 hours. How much more can the city take? Judging from what we saw today, not much. Here's how our early morning tour of this seaside city went.
Keith Swift Reporting,
You might think this is just another fish story, but these young men caught these good-sized tilapia right here on Jane Usher Boulevard. Not in a canal, but on the street. True enough the rain on Jane, stays mostly on the main. No one knows that better than these kids, who made the most of bad conditions and no school to come up with their own front yard play set - an abandoned refrigerator turned self-propelled watercraft for three. While some stores tried to blockade the rushing waters of Jane, others just accepted that buyers had to wade in to make their purchases.
And that same makeshift craft would have served these kids on Church Street well enough. Others still tried to make a run for school on Wood Street, while on the parallel Johnson Street these schoolchildren had to wait for the wake to clear before going out into the water. Not about to test Johnson Street's depths, this driver held up morning rush hour traffic to back out.
Over the bridge, Douglas Jones ran like a river in the morning rush. And if Douglas Jones was the river, Princess Margaret Drive was the sea. Water rose to car bumpers, and traffic went in all directions, causing chaos on the roadway. But it wasn't bad enough to make this boat pull the truck, proving that there is a purpose for all those SUVs.
And while the SUVs pretended to be boats, nothing could pretend to be a plane in this weather. This is the municipal airstrip at 8:30 am - flooded over and strewn with debris. The swollen sea washed over the airstrip, making it hard to tell where seafront ended and sea began. The bosses for Maya Island Air and the Airports Authority looked on as all flights were grounded. Two hours later, the high tide receded and the Fire Department cleaned up the mess.
But they'll have to be vigilant into the weekend because the weatherman says the rains will continue because of this low pressure system that's hovering just off the coast.
Ramon Frutos, Deputy Chief Meteorologist
"This whole area of low pressure or low pressure trough is producing the inclement weather that we are experiencing. It will continue to affect us for at least the next twenty four hours. We expect the rains to persist for at least the next twenty four to thirty six hours."
But it's not just the rain that caused this morning's flooding, particularly high tides like the one we saw cresting at the municipal airstrip are the product of what's called a spring tide, when the moon, sun and earth are aligned. Frutos explains:
"What is happening right now is that we are going into the full moon phase of the lunar phase. The full moon will be tomorrow. Usually when you have a full moon, you higher tides than normal. However, when the moon is in line with the sun, then you tend to have even higher tides and we refer to those as spring tides. So couple with the high tide this morning, and the amount of rain we had last night, then we can see that it added to the flooding that we received in the urban areas of Belize City."
So while the high tide waters ebbed away at the airstrip, on these streets with so many drainage problems, it'll take some time.
We'll have more details of the weekend forecast in the weather report which is coming up later on.