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#472951 - 09/20/13 11:40 AM Flash Flood Swamps Democracia, Shuts Down Highway
Marty Offline
It's been raining for days, and we all knew that something somewhere had to give with the rivers running over their banks and the ground so inundated. And today, it did with a flash flood in La Democracia caused by the Sibun River breaking its bank. Several homes on the Coastal road ended up under water due to the fast rising waters. Our team headed out there but couldn't reach because the rushing water broke a culvert at mile 27 on the Western Highway closing down the road. Monica Bodden was there:..

Monica Bodden reporting
Traffic was backed-up this morning as this pool of water settled over the road at mile 27 on the Western highway.

Police officers were deployed to the area - to render assistance and to inform motorists about the current situation they were faced with - Vehicles were not allowed to cross a specific section of the highway - after one of its culverts was washed away by the force of the flooded water. If you notice closely, both sides of this particular culvert are washed away - leaving minimal support underneath the road.

Lennox Bradley - Chief Engineer, Ministry of Works/Transport
"We had a situation unfortunately this morning where we did receive reports from some of our people who were traveling towards Belize City early this morning about the situation with the flooding here between miles 25 and 27. Then later on this morning we got additionally reports that one of the culverts was being undermined and in the interest in trying to protect their safety of road users we had to block until we did a more thorough inspection of the culvert."

Bradley spoke about the worst case scenario and their temporary plan to remedy the situation so vehicles could pass the area.

Lennox Bradley - Chief Engineer, Ministry of Works/Transport
"As you notice the water was passing at quite a fast pace and so the velocity of the water damage both the exit and entrance of the culvert and also if you look more closely the culvert itself appears to be broken - that was the cause of the concern for us. How we intend to do it right now is allow the small vehicles to pass and then we will excavate what is there and back fill it with boulders. We cannot install culverts right now. It will be install as soon as the water permit us to install. Heavy goods vehicle maybe later on could pass."

At one point, the water flowing across the road measured up to 3 feet high or even more- but quickly receded.

By 12 noon, small vehicles were allowed to pass the area and bus commuters swiftly walked over through the flooded waters and onto the other side in hope of hitchhiking to their destination.

Mark Nolberto - Bus Commuter
"I am really happy with James Bus because it's their bus that we came on. They had two other buses on the other side coming from Belize to Belmopan - they should have the people coming from Dangriga take that bus to go back to the City."

Monica Bodden
"You are walking over but you don't have a ride to take you to Belize City?"

Mark Nolberto - Bus Commuter
"Not really."

Reporter
"What are you going to do?"

Mark Nolberto - Bus Commuter
"I will have to hitchhike from here to Belize City because I need to get back to Dangriga."

The good news is that water was quick to run off and the culvert was filled early this afternoon and the water has receeded in La Democracia and Mahogany Heights. No one was hurt.

But there's flooding in other parts of the country as well. Flood waters in the Rio Hondo continue to rise cutting off the communities of Santa Cruz, San Roman, San Antonio and Douglas. Two civilian boats supplied by the people of Orange walk were deployed to cover the areas from San Roman to Douglas. The Belize Defense Force River patrol between Santa Cruz and San Roman will remain in place to provide assistance to the people in the area. The BDF and Belize National Coast Guard is on standby to support NEMO operations in the north.

Channel 7


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#473054 - 09/21/13 11:11 AM Re: Flash Flood Swamps Democracia, Shuts Down Highway [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Mahogany Heights And La Democracia Experienced Flooding

Yesterday, 7News showed you the flooding on the Western Highway which broke a culvert at mile 27, stopping our news team from getting to La Democracia and Mahogany Heights Villages where flash floods had swept in.

Well today, we went back to both villages where residents told us what happened when the water started rising early Thursday morning. Everyone we spoke to said that they'd never seen flooding like this in their village before:

Shaniki Brown - Resident, Mahogany Heights
"We had about 5 to 6 inches of water inside the house. When we woke up almost everything was floating in the house."

Daniel Ortiz
"Tell us about how you guys actually got the water out? How long did it took for the water to recede?"

Shaniki Brown - Resident, Mahogany Heights
"We had to wait for almost half an hour before the water from the yard start to go down, then the water from the house started to come out too."

Daniel Ortiz
"Was thete anything you guys own that got damage by the water?"

Shaniki Brown - Resident, Mahogany Heights
"The refrigerator; when we got up that wasn't working and the washing machine, we don't know if that will still work."

Daniel Ortiz
"Has this ever happen before to you guys?"

Shaniki Brown - Resident, Mahogany Heights
"This is the first time. Normally when it rains the yard would get water, but this is the first time that the house got it."

Becky Estrada - Resident, La Democracia
"I haven't seen something like that yet, because it started from like 4am and when I woke around 5am I saw the water already high reaching into my house. I woke up my children and then we started packing things on the bed."

Daniel Ortiz
"You guys got items inside the house damage?"

Becky Estrada - Resident, La Democracia
"Yes, like the mattress and all the marley. I don't know if the refrigerator will still work."

Sarita Estrada - Resident, La Democracia
"Yesterday morning I got up and told my daughter to get ready to go to school, but when I opened the back door it was then that I saw that the water was coming into the house. I told her that she has to stay at home. It's not nice because its only I and my children here in the house. No husband is around, only myself and my children. My son room was flooded out. The water didnt reach in my room but it got into his room."

Daniel Ortiz
"What all did he had to remove?"

Sarita Estrada - Resident, La Democracia
"I had to bring in my dogs because I didn't want them to go away and I put my children on the bed."

According to the residents, the waters receded quote quickly later in the day.

Channel 7


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