Hurricane Hattie tidal surge taken from Radisson Fort George Hotel. Nine feet of water! The Baron Bliss light house can be seen behind the house in the left. Bthe city and the reef makes Belize more susceptible to the destructive forces of a tidal surge. The shallower the water the higher the wave.

My family lived on foreshore at the time. My mom described it as the whole sea going out and standing up like a wall. She said you could have seen the sand at the bottom of the sea. Then the water rushed back with a vengeance and started rising. Bernadette Moody

Belize city Arnold waterside 15 foot serge high as the Gibson verandah rail. The funny thing it dipped when it reached the little old house that we were in , only the kitchen went down but my grand aunt roped out 11persons out of the water. Some of them are still alive today. The little old house is still standing also the Gibson , Vasques ,& Reyes houses are still there. The Baileys house is where we lived & saved 11 persons out of the water including the Governor's chauffer Mr Griffith & family. Icilda Jennifer Coye Paredez

I wasn't born then, but I remember my mother saying that they had to relocate to the upstairs and water was still rising. My dad and uncles had to break a hole in the roof so they could all go on the roof until the water receded. Bernadette Moody

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I was 10 and remember the ferocity of the wind, the flooding of our street, the mud left behind, and no electricity for a long time. Marta Woods

I remember that vicious hurricane my mom took us to a neighbor house and house came down and the water came rushing in we almost drowned but some people came and rescued us and took us the Billboard Press where we stayed until the water subsided. Yvonne Burgess

I remember Hurricane Hattie. We left out house and weathered the storm in the Premier's ( Mr George.Price) office. we were playing and spinning in his chair behind the big mahogany desk. My grandfather ( Daniel Meighan) and thank goodness as I believe he saved our lives. He kept looking up at the ceiling which looked fine to me. He said "Pet " ( that's what he called my Mom) " This ceiling is not gonna hold" We started banging on a huge mahogany door for those on the other side to open it. We finally made it to safety and none too soon as the.ceiling started to leak and cracked. After the hurricane was over. we went to our a dorey. When we got there many of our neighbors had taken refuge in our home which was in great damage. Dorothy Meighan Henley

Hattie - for me, that one word has always been enough to recall the horrors; the trials and tribulations; the anxiety of following up on the welfare and wellbeing of family and friends; the horrible cleanup; the long drawn out period of reconstruction; and yes, the wonderful camaraderie and welcoming hands of assistance that we received. Dozed off from time to time, but didn't really sleep except from about 9-11PM when the storm hit. I still vividly remember so much, but yet as far as I'm concerned, I came away from Hattie with a great respect for the unleashed power of a Hurricane that has stayed with me even as I rapidly approach my octogenarian years. And yet, of all the disasters of the world, I am glad that I have had to live with hurricanes as opposed to any other. They give you ample warning to prepare. Yasin J. Shoman

Remember BzC was all wood except for some government building and perhaps 2 private dwelling. Some wooden houses were blown over, some floated off. The strongly anchored houses termites had eaten the rafters or the zinc corroded. The previous devastation was 30 years earlier and i remember hearing that, "we are out of the hurricane belt and if anything the reef will protect us." Alan Usher

Our home was completely washed away. A huge big Victorian 2 story wooden house on Eve St. My mom says the storm surge just lifted it up off the foundation columns and smashed it across the street into kindling. They almost didn't evacuate either. It was Mr. Chavannes who convinced my grandfather to come to them since they were not on the water. They just left the house with nothing but the clothes on their backs fully expecting to return to their home. Lesley Sullivan

We lived on Amara Avenue. My dad being a fisherman knew a lot about the way itís blowing and water surges. He saved 32 of our neighbors including family. He built our home and that was very strong until a few years ago he had to remove due to the land which was given to him and my mom as a wedding gift was now left in a WILL for her grand daughter. Mary Forman

I remember hurricane Hattie vividly. My father David Bradley realised the strength of the hurricane and evacuated us to United Farm near Cayo, all 44 of us took shelter there for about 3 weeks. My father couldn't join us as he was on duty as Controller of Customs and Excise and Harbour Master. Our family home was built 10ft off the ground and flood waters came in, he had to drill holes in the mahogany floors to drain the water ! We had seaweed in the attic!! Dreadful and frightening, so many people lost their homes. Alison Bradley Young

I had a cousin living in Belize City that time.. Ha and his wife were in a downstairs room and the water started rising so fast that they had to break a hole in the wooden second floor and climbed up and weathered the rest of the hurricane there... Albert Williams

We went to Grace Chapel and I remember the wind blowing North, South, east and west and the glass windows breaking. We went downstairs and the water started to rise. We went back upstairs again and the building was shaking but luckily nothing happened. After it was over I remember eating pigtail and mash potatoes till I got so sick of it. I was 10. Joan Overly

We lived on Ferrel's Lane and the water came up to our floor 9 feet high. My grandmother would say the house only swayed like a candle light! Maria Mally Gomez Perez

Hurricane 'Hattie' Hits Honduras (1961)
People walking along flood-drenched streets of Belize City. Medium shot of man paddling along docklands in boat. Various shots of homes destroyed to rubble. Dog. Various shots of hurricane wreckage. Aerial shots of rubble and evidence of destruction.


At St. Catherine Academy, Sr. Mary Bernard McCan. viewing the damage after Hattie. She was the Mother Superior at the time.

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I was in STD. 3 at St. Catherineís Elementary when Hattie struck. We had a lot of nuns as teachers in that time. I just feel it was not as hot back then. Imagine wearing those heavy robes. Notice the big rosary beads that all the nuns wore as a part of their habit. They were excellent teachers! Sister Alexander Hunter taught us English in third form. I think literature too. She was super. She also taught us typing and shorthand . We had a so much in her be Glee Club, lovely, sweet Nun. Marta Woods

Sister Alexander Hunter was one of the most caring nuns at SCA. She was my guiding light. We all loved her. Greta Martha Williams

Sister Alexander Hunterís my dadís twin sister, later she was allowed to use her name, Yvonne.I always admired her for joining the nuns cause she followed her calling. She was very pretty and very young (17)when she made her decision and she could not see her family once she joined. I heard that she and my grandmother used to communicate with flashlights across the street. The family house was right at the corner of Hutson and Eyre st. Yvonne Paulette Hunter Romero


Belize City Hospital after Hurricane Hattie

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The part which projected out to just before the seaside, and appears to be a seperate building was the Children Ward. This was an addition after the original building was built.