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#418872 - 10/15/11 08:55 AM MET Office says it’s going to be a wet weekend
Marty Offline
Patrick Jones reporting...
"When the skies opened over Belize City last night it left many residential neighborhoods inundated. Residents had to wade through sometimes ankle deep water, on bike and in vehicles.

Hugh Bodden – Resident
“I’m trying for the past couple years to get this street which is about four to five feet of water, whenever it rains we are in trouble in the back here.”

London bridges are a staple for most people in affected areas to get into and out of their homes. On Cemetery Road the overflowing drains merge with the street where pedestrians and motorists competed for passing space. Councilor responsible for sanitation on the north side of the city Roger Espejo told Love News via phone that work crews are standing by.

Roger Espejo – City Councilor
“When the road conditions are as they are right now, little work can be done save for drain clearing and culvert clearing so that drains can flow better so that water may recede from off the street. Apart from that repair cannot be done because of the nature of the work, you can;t do any road work or even cavity filling.”

Patrick Jones – Reporter
How do you survive, do you think it will help if you clean the drain in front of your building?

Hugh Bodden – Resident
"I think we don’t need to clean the drain that often but what we need is a culvert, a big culvert that they use on the highway with some wings or something like that to keep away the water so that it could flow because we have a river that run on the both side of the street.”

Part of the problem is that some of the drains are clogged by construction work and while cutting the grass helps, Councilor Espejo says homeowners can help themselves.

Patrick Jones - Reporter
Councilor what would you say to those who say that it is not just when the rains come that you consider doing improvements. I think they have heard you all from the city hall say that you are waiting for the rains to hold up to do maintenance, what about doing maintenance when it is not raining.

Roger Espejo – City Councilor
"Don’t misunderstand me, I wouldn’t want any member of the public to misunderstand what I just said, we do maintenance all year round but in times like these when the drains are filled it is easier to decipher where the problems is as opposed to hen all the drains are dry.”

This afternoon the National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO issued an advisory on flooding as a result of the low pressure system which is lingering over our area. The NEMO advisory says that the main threat from the system is continuous rainfall which increases the likelihood of localized flooding in the south and over the northern parts of the country. According to NEMO, in the Cayo district, the Succotz Ferry is closed to vehicular traffic. Also closed is the Baking Pot Ferry. The river at Arenal Village is four feet above normal; down at Calla Creek, its three feet above normal; further down at Bullet Tree village, the river is two and a half feet above normal and in San Ignacio area, the Macal River is six inches above normal. In the Stann Creek district, NEMO says that the Sittee River at Kendal is a foot above normal and rising; the Mullins River is a foot above normal and rising and the North Stann Creek River is normal, but rising. Drivers are being urged not to venture into flooded roads.


#418876 - 10/15/11 09:04 AM Re: STEADY RAINFALL LEAVES RESIDENTS SUFFERING [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Met office predicts rainy weekend

Rain, Rain, rain, and even more rain. The capital City is saturated but according to the Met service, we can expect even more rain this weekend, countrywide.

Derrick Rudon
There is a broad-low pressure area over our area, centered over the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize and the North West Caribbean Sea. It is producing at the moment, this organized showers and thunderstorm and it is expected to move very slowly over the next couple of days. Then after that, on Monday, it should move into the Bay of Campeche. Because it is moving very slowly, last night, here at the Airport got about five inches of rain fall. So we can expect similar amounts, maybe a little less, but similar amount.

Due to the rains, there is a strong threat of flooding in flood prone areas.


#418878 - 10/15/11 09:10 AM Re: MET Office says it’s going to be a wet weekend [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

MET Office says it’s going to be a wet weekend

If you’re making plans for the weekend, you’ll want to keep it indoors because it’s going to be a wet one. Since Thursday there have been heavy rains in central and northern Belize caused by a lingering weather system that has potential to develop into a tropical depression. The flood prone areas in southern Belize are being spared the bulk of the rains this time around, but according to NEMO the rivers are slowly rising. Kendal and Mullins Rivers are each one foot above normal, while North Stann Creek is at normal level but is rising. Meanwhile, in the Cayo District, the Succotz and Baking Pot ferries are closed to vehicular traffic. The river at Arenal Village is four feet above normal level, Calla Creek is up three feet, in Bullet Tree the river is up two and a half feet while the Macal River has risen six inches above normal. And the downpour continues throughout the next few days until the systems starts moving away. Chief Met Officer, Dennis Gonguez told us what to expect in the next few days.

Dennis Gonguez, Chief Meteorologist

“There’s a broad area of low pressure over Central America and the North Western Caribbean. This was originally an Eastern Pacific tropical depression that produced some rains over Guatemala. Presently the center is over north central Guatemala. The system will linger in our general vicinity over the weekend producing significant amounts of rainfall around the country.”

Delahnie Bain

Dennis Gonguez

“Are there any expectations for it to develop into something more?”

Dennis Gonguez

“Well, the system moves offshore Belize come tomorrow afternoon or Sunday morning and that increases the possibility that this could evolve into a tropical depression. But at this moment, the models are deferring the scenario of it developing into a tropical depression. The present motion of the system is being blocked by a cold front in the Gulf of Mexico and as that front disappears come Monday morning, we expect the system to start moving northwest and head out of this general area and into the southern Gulf of Mexico and the bay of Campeche.”

Delahnie Bain

“So what parts of Belize will be most affected by the rains that it’s bringing?”

Dennis Gonguez

“Well, last night and this morning we had rains concentrated over the northern and central sections of the country and it seems that that scenario will play out again tomorrow and on Sunday. So we’re looking for significant amounts of rains over the northern and central parts of the country. Some places, like here at the International Airport, received up to six inches of rainfall during the last twenty-four hours. From nine a.m. yesterday to midday today, we received about six inches of rainfall. La Democracia on the Western Highway received about five inches of rainfall. So we had significant amounts of rain around the country last night and this morning. And this system, like I said, is forecast to just meander or linger around the area over the weekend and produce a lot of rainfall, giving us a wet weekend.”

Delahnie Bain

“You said it’s mostly affecting the north and central Belize right? Well, we know that south is most prone to the flooding and so on. Any rains happening down there?”

Dennis Gonguez

“It rained down there but not as much as it has been raining over the northern and central sections of the country.”

Gonguez says that at this time of year, it is common for cold fronts forming over Mexico to cause weather systems to linger in this area of Caribbean and that translates to plenty rain for Belize.

Channel 5

#418881 - 10/15/11 09:14 AM Re: MET Office says it’s going to be a wet weekend [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Old Capital Streets wash over from rains

The deluge was heavy on Thursday night and within a couple of hours, numerous areas of the city were flooded. Schools around the city closed today and some streets were completely under water. One of the affected areas is the Jane Usher Boulevard. A resident of the area, who is also the owner of a small shop, says that this is a recurring problem and they need their Minister and area rep to do something. Luisa Varela says that on a day like this, customers are few.

Luisa Varela, Resident, Jane Usher Boulevard

“Yes it affects a lot yes. We minister have to do something yah, send a machine dig way yah to the sea fi mek something happen because what he send only yah di works nuh. But this nuh di help we at all at all, the wata nuh di guh.”

Andrea Polanco

Luisa Varela

“So how long it’s been like this?”

Luisa Varela

“Hmm anytime ih rain, two hours ah rain this done flood.”

Andrea Polanco

“So the water that we’re seeing it’s from since last night?”

Luisa Varela

“From this morning; last night ih rain and this morning it floods again and it affect lotta pickney weh di go dah school, they had to walk inna dis wata, pickney have to tek off the shoes and suh fi walk to school. It’s a lotta problem with this wata.”

Andrea Polanco

“So coming back to your shop, I mean you have less customers since morning?”

Luisa Varela

“Lotta time, lotta time. Anytime ih rain nobody nuh wah guh wet deh foot.”

Channel 5

Waters Rising After Relentless Rains

NEMO reports that the weather system that is causing all these rains is forecast to linger over the weekend.

And already, the floodwaters are rising.

In the Cayo District, the Succotz Ferry is closed to traffic; the Baking Pot Ferry is closed to traffic; the River at Arenal is four feet above normal; Calla Creek is three feet above normal, the river at Bullet Tree is two and a half feet above normal; and the Macal River is six inches above normal.

In The Stann Creek district, Kendal, Mullins River and North Stann Creek are all above normal levels and rising.

Today, I went to the MET office in Ladyville to find out more from the Chief MET Officer about the chance for it the low pressure system to develop into something more substantial:

Dennis Gonguez - Chief Meteorological Officer
"Presently, it's centered over north-central Guatemala, and this system will linger around the area for a few days over the weekend. Most of the rains occurred last night over the northern and central sections of the country. So, some areas received as much as 5 to 6 inches of rainfall over the past 24 hours. That distinctly raises the possibility of some flooding."

Monica Bodden
"So are we going to experience some rains over the weekend?"

Dennis Gonguez
"Well, the system won't move much. It might move to Belize's offshore for a short period of time. There's a cold front in the Gulf of Mexico that will block the northwest movement of this system. And as such, we expect it to just sit over us or just offshore, and produce copious amounts of rainfall over the weekend. Presently the probability for this system to develop over the next 48 hours is rather low because it's over land, and as it moves offshore, that probability should increase somewhat. The probability is about 20% for it to develop - this broad area of low pressure. So we have to keep an eye out for it over the weekend to see if, come Monday or Tuesday, if anything comes out of this system."

Channel 7


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