May 26, 2006

Motorists are advised that the Coastal Road is officially closed at the Big
Creek Bridge at Mile 35. Chief Engineer Cadet Henderson says the closure
is caused by the heavy rains and flooding in the area.

Cadet Henderson, Chief Engineer

"At this time the flooding at mile 35 1/2 which would be the approach to
big creek bridge, there is about 3 feet of water in that location. So the
road is officially closed at this time to traffic and not even big vehicles
can get though at this point. The reports we receive indicates that its
just the approach to the bridge. So it will probably be a couple hundred
feet or so. Some shoulder erosion damage is expected. We know the
vulnerable areas but it all depends on the storm cell is. if it is in the
area near Manatee road or near Melinda forest station then the vulnerable
area would be the approaches to bridges and a few culvert locations but it
all depends on where the main shower occur. We are yet to receive reports
about the Toledo district but so far this Manatee road we have an update
where our people have actually visited."

Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Ramon Frutos, says the Stann Creek Valley has
been experiencing heavy rains since the start of this week.

Ramon Frutos, Deputy Chief Meteorologist

"The rain began sometime on Sunday and has persisted during all this
working week but what we have noticed from the records Marion must of the
rainfalls during the pass four to five days have been concentrated over the
Stann Creek District particularly along the Stann Creek Valley Area. For
example this morning we noticed from the records that the accumulated
rainfall at Melinda has been fifteen point six inches since the twenty
first of May which was Sunday until this morning nine o'clock. In the upper
valley at Middlesex the rainfall has been nine inches total since Sunday
and down at Mayan King in the South Stann Creek District the rainfall has
been accumulated to the figure of nine point two inches. Other areas of the
country for example in the North in Consejo in the Corozal District we have
accumulated six point seven inches and down in PG we accumulated seven
point two inches over the past four or five days. However in the Toledo
District the rain stopped sometime on Wednesday and so it has been
deceasing to a certain extent now we have been experiencing local flooding
in the North Stann Creek River and the tributaries to that river which
include the Manatee and the Big Creek River or Stream has also been
reported to be high this morning. Part of the Coastal Road has been closed
because water levels from the Coastal road entering from Melinda to the
Gales Point cutoff water levels are up to four feet in certain spots so
that has been closed."

Frutos says the rains in the Stann Creek Valley area is expected to
continue over the weekend and gradually get better in other parts of the

Ramon Frutos, Deputy Chief Meteorologist

"We expect the air flow to remain a bit unstable so it will continue to
produce some showers so these will be scattered across the country mainly
along the coast and inland tomorrow Saturday and Sunday we expect better
weather and improvement in weather conditions and most areas will have
sunshine on Sunday. We could get one or two showers but nothing as
significant as compared to what we have be experiencing during this working
week. Water will recede gradually but not as fast because we still have the
run off coming off that seven inches of rainfall that we recorded in the
lower Stann Creek Valley this morning at Melinda they recorded almost seven
inches since yesterday nine o'clock so that run off will still continue to
move towards the river and hence we expect that the North Stann Creek River
will rise once again probably during the next twenty four to thirty six
hours. The closure will remain in effect at least for today for the Coastal
Road the Hummingbird Highway itself is nod flooded we have some pooling
but it is not flooded. What happened is that the report that is coming out
of Melinda also indicated that the water was almost to the base of that
bridge but it has gone down on the North Stann Creek but we expect it to
rise once again. For the Stann Creek Valley we expect the rainfall to
continue off and on during the course of today and tomorrow, the rain will
gradually die off throughout the country so we should se water levels going
down gradually over the weekend so hopefully by Sunday or maybe Monday the
road will be open once again."

Chief Engineer Cadet Henderson advises motorists to be careful when
traveling, especially at night this weekend.

Cadet Henderson, Chief Engineer

"I would just appeal to motorist to be cautious especially night driving in
area where it might not be advance warning signs. We have posted signs on
the Manatee road but there may be other areas that could be affected later
if the rains continue. So they must heed warning and stay tune to love fm.
as soon as we get information on receding waters we will update the

Cadet Henderson, Chief Engineer in the Ministry of Works.