The rains caused by this weather system last weekend has caused the sugar industry to go on a temporary pause due to excess mud being delivered with the cane. And, that was done back when it wasn't even strong enough or organized enough to become a named storm.

Well, it has now developed into a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour. That was this morning's readings from hurricane experts. It is now moving at a crawl over Mexico, and the rains from this system will affect that country, as well as Belize and other neighboring Central American nations. It is forecasted that the storm could become a threat to the US Gulf Coast. It continues to drift southeastward at less than 5 miles per hour. Experts in Belize are forecasting that bad weather caused by the system will affect the northern districts at least into the upcoming weekend.

The National Hydrological Service within the Ministry of Natural Resources put out an updated flood forecast for today.

The Blue Creek sub-catchment of the Rio Hondo is flooded, and flood levels have reached 1.69 meters above the level historically recorded for Hurricane Mitch. The New River at Caledonia continues to rise slowly, and it is now at the bank-full stage. On the Macal River, reservoir levels remain below the spillways at the Chalillo, Mollejon, and Vaca Facilities. In San Ignacio, water levels remain below the low-lying bridge, but they are rising.

On the Belize River, levels at Banana Bank continue to fall. The Crooked Tree Lagoon is below the causeway and steadily rising. At Double Run, levels are also steadily rising. The Sibun River near Freetown Sibun is flooded and continues to rise.

Channel 7

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Grains and Sugarcane Fields Flooded in the West!

Many crops are under water due to recent flooding to Tropical Storm Cristobal that formed in the Bay of Campeche. Locally crops and grains are being affected in the west and as you heard earlier, the sugar industry in the north is also being impacted. Gilbert Canton Junior says the rains delayed planting of grains but damage to standing crops was not extensive.

Gilbert Canton Jr., G.M., Valley of Peace Farms Limited
“It was very significant rains. We got fourteen point inches on this farm. It has definitely halted the harvesting on the side of the sugar cane and on the grain side it has made it so that we have to wait a little while in order to plant our grains. And so we got to do some field repairs and road repairs. But overall this was a very much needed rain. As you know there’s been a drought for the past couple years and even though we’ve had to do some repairs and delay our planting, we are happy with the rain.”

Andrea Polanco
“Now, it has caused delays but how does that ultimately impact your production in terms of getting out what you produce?”

Gilbert Canton Jr.
“It’s a good point because there is a very tight cycles so we have to get our crop in in June in order to harvest it October and November and then get another crop in November –December. So, it could have an effect. It is hard to say just yet how significant that effect will be because if we dry up right now then we will have great planting conditions because then our water tables will all be filled up and then we will plant and we will have great conditions if we get some sun right now. The rains continue for too long it can lock us out and cause some issues further down the road.”

Channel 5