Cemented streets without proper drainage… flooding in the City
In many areas of the City, residents are pulling out their rubber boots so they can exit or access their homes. The heavy rains in the past couple days have caused flooding and there is still more rain predicted for the weekend. The problem seems to be that while residents can boast about beautiful new cement streets, there’s a pesky little thing the Council forgot…called drainage. On the outside that may seem like a sick joke, but for those whose homes are being flooded whenever it rains, it is no laughing matter. Today News Five’s Duane Moody visited some of the affected areas in the city and has the story.
Duane Moody, Reporting
The Belize City Council embarked on a massive reconstruction of streets throughout the City. But the downpour over the past two days is showing that the lack of drainage presents a huge problem. Around the city, several houses and yards are inundated and residents must wade through the waters to get in and out of their homes.
Lenard Young, Yard Flooded
“When dehn fix the street, dehn neva put the drainage thing in the street that’s why ih flow back the water like this.”
“This is the first time that something like this…”
“Yah, the yard wasn’t like this. If you notice whole of that was cement. But I neva had time to chop it or anything because the water is too high. From the rainy season start and from the time the street was fixed. If you notice from that side to down there, it’s mostly the area that is flooded.”
Linvorine King, Yard Flooded
“Dah di drains; the drain stop up.”
“Since when it started to rise?”
“Mussi bout wah hour after ih start to rain, water get ina mi house.”
“Damage up your furniture?”
“Only the bottom mi wet. And mi carpet mi wet so I had to take it out.”
Some residents have pallets and cement blocks forming walkways to exit and access their homes. For Dona Cayetano, she lives in the lower flat of this two story house at the corner of Zacaranda and Oleander Streets. Her house is currently under two to three inches of water.
Dona Cayetano, House Flooded
“From it started to rain I notice…I glad about the street, but then the thing is now about the drainage and I know fir a fact dah because of the drainage problem that dah weh cause this. Dehn noh have no drain so the water noh got no way to go so it just come into my hosue. It raise up to five inches today. So today it is at about three inches.”
“What are you going to do, the water level is high and it’s not going down?”
“I don’t know what to do. I don’t know and I can’t bail out this water yah. I noh know how I wah bail this out. I noh know what to do. I noh di say downstairs yah neva tek water because I live yah almost thirteen years and dah downstairs I live. I noh say I neva does have problem with a little water, but it get worse. It get worse after building the street.”
Over on Fern Lane, residents say that they are concerned for students having to traverse through the murky waters to get to school. According to Stephanie Noralez, while they are grateful for the main street being cemented, the improper drainage and the stagnant waters can pose a health hazard.
Stephanie Noralez, Resident
“This is Saint Martin’s, we know that this an area that people don’t really care about. I just would like that they worry about the environment itself. We could catch itch. The health is the biggest issue here. I don’t want to be walking in no water like this; the septic in the yard. It is what you have to face whenever it rains. It’s really frustrating.”
Acting mayor, Bernard Q. Pitts Junior, says that the council has received several concerns and that a work team is out looking at the issue and will rectify the problem.
Bernard Q. Pitts Jr.
Bernard Q. Pitts Junior, Acting Belize City Mayor
“We have been actively out there with our works crew checking those specific areas that were mentioned to us. Most of the streets, the waters have resided quite quickly and so we look at those more urgently where the waters were backed up. Currently right now, we have our works team out with their crew and as well with the fire truck to try and pump up whatever debris is in the drains. But so far we have it under control and we have majority of the waters from those areas running off right now as we speak.”