Hurricane Hattie Weather Advisory: Oct 30, 1961
National Weather Bureau, Miami Hurricane Center

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The aftermath of Hattie Hurricane in Belize city in 1961. This is at Albert street and Prince st, the building to your right side the the home of the Chavannes family.

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A view from the building housing the U.S. International Cooperation Administration Mission (old name for A.I.D.), sheltering from Hurricane Hattie in 1961. The wind and the sea have been dropping—the wind for a few hours, the sea for several.

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Glen Fuller
Salvaging and washing what can be found. It was a Horrific day after.

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Hattie destruction in Belize City. I think this is at the corner of Freetown Road and Mapp St. The building at the far left reminds me of one that was in the Belize Technical College yard.

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Diane Matthews
Very traumatic for me. I was nearly 5 years old. My family rode out the storm in the Estephan Building in Belize City. When the storm hit, the plate glass on the third floor where we were located burst with glass flying everywhere. We relocated to the second floor but the water rose to a foot above that floor so we sheltered in a mess. After the storm, we all plodded through feet of mud to the Holden Hospital for vaccinations.

Lareth Gregory
I was 41/2 yrs old, my baby brother was 1 yr old. My mom and the 2 of us was on the 2nd floor of a bank on Albert street and my dad was in Mullin River, we didn’t know if he was alive until a week later. I remember my mom picking up a silver tea pot that floated out of Brodie’s I think . There was water about an inch on my feet and my mom was on a table with my brother.

Daisy Cacho
My mom was only 5yrs old and she still remember it very well all when the breeze start to when the house collapse and her older brother had to put her into the ceiling and tie her so she wouldn't wash from the currant and the she talks about the aftermath,about the bodies she seen on the ground of her neighbors that didn't make it.

Pamela Robateau Crone
My mom always told me that she waited for my dad to come back from Sergeant's Caye, where the SCA nuns were stranded and thought that it was just a storm and he would have had time to be back with us., after brining them in. Well he is another story. But when Hattie hit, the house fell off its posts. The kitchen migrated into the neighbor's yard as they had a bridge from the kitchen to the house in those days. My mom, and my older brother, scrambled unto the refrigerator, when they saw the rising water and then through the opening to the attic, where through one of the attic window they had to have a swimmer tie a rope from Mr. Meighan house to ours. Mr. Meighan lived up stairs and the Smiley's lived down stairs. At the time they were sheltering up stairs. I am not sure who was the swimmer, maybe someone can spread some light on this. (The reverend Mrs. Smiley). Anyway. My brother went over on the rope and then they tied me in a bundle and tried to get me over to the neighbors house. I was dipped about three times in the cold water. My mom later came over, as they were trying to revive me, as I was still and purple in colour. After a while I cried and they knew I would be Ok. Baby clothes were loaned to keep me dry, courtesy of Mrs. L. Smiling as her baby boy David was only a couple months old too.. Not sure of his birthday.. My dad was stuck out at caye... another story soon..on this one..Its written in one of Ms. Zee Edgel's books I think. .

Yvonne N. Sabido
I was going to be 11, on Nov.19 of 1961. I don’t remember that birthday at all. The day of the hurricane I got my first bicycle and was going to ride it when a car pulled in front of our house on E. Canal. Daddy shouted get in the car. But daddy, I have to ride my bike. Get in now. With only our shoes and clothes, my brother, sister and I got in the car and was whisked away to a farm owned by the Nords, in Orange Walk. Aunt Alice was there at her estate and welcomed what seems like five families and 20 cousins. We watched oranges in the groves flying sideways and cows tipping over. We had no idea what was going on in Belize. It was a month before the water subsided, the bridge was passable and my dad could go to Belize to assess the damage. He was crushed, our spirits were crushed when he returned and told us our house had fallen over and where uncles house once stood at St. George’s Caye was now a split. Our lives spared.
I read the names of each individual who perished. I did not know them, but after all these years I still feel the pain and shed tears because of their peril and my memory of the devastation. The very news of hurricane approaching, terrifies me and I go into panic mode.

France Sol: "When Hurricane Hattie hit Belize we had to eat corn beef almost daily. I was in my third pregnancy with high blood pressure etc. I decided to do laundry for the British soldiers in exchange for fresh cooked food. They came at first with six uniforms but then it became 12. It was done in a bath pan and a scrub board and had to get water from the pipe. It was difficult but I was treated to the best food that my children and I and my sister enjoyed. I washed for them for 3 months. Then I had my little girl and could no longer do the job. Six months after I heard a knock on my door - it was a British officer who came with check in hand to pay me. I refused the money and told him the delicious food I got after washing their clothes and all the cakes and chocolates given to my children was enough. I refused the money much to my husband’s disapproval when I told him what I did that day. To say the least the officer was also surprised. It was three meals per day and although it was hard work I Was very happy Not standing in a long line for corn beef."

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MEASURES TAKEN TO TACKLE A CRISES OF MAJOR PROPORTION , in 1961.
by Hector Silva

AND AFTER TACKLING THE HURRICANE DAMAGES and THE CREATION OF SHELTERS FOR THE HOMELESS, and the building of the NEW CAPITAL BELMOPAN, which created hundreds of jobs, - . it was time to make Belize, INVESTOR FRIENDLY and the creation of jobs in the housing industry...

TWO VEHICLES WERE CREATED TO DO THE JOB OF NATION BUILDING..

One was RECONDEV, - - - -" Reconstruction and Development Corporation. " - - -To reconstruct Belize and to establish the

" DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVES LAWS. "

The other was the "D.F.C. " Development Finance Corporation. " to establish a lending Institution for Development projects.

In the meanwhile, The George Price Administration also created two WATCH DOG BODIES to protect Belizeans from being taken advantage by UNSCRUPULOUS MERCHANTS.

1. - A WELL MANNED " CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCY " was established to patrol the shops, inspecting expired goods and the SCALES that they are not doctored..

2. A PRICE CONTROL REGIME was established to regulate prices from ABUSE. - - Government listed 42 items with ZERO RATED PRICES. This was to control a Run Away COST OF LIVING.

These measures worked well, especially for the poor and working class.

THESE ARE JUST FEW TIPS ON HOW WE MANAGED TO CONTROL A DISASTER.

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Court House Green or Battlefield Park today after Hurricane Hattie. In 1854, the first prison was located where Heritage Bank is today and that represented the "Lawless". The "lawly" was represented by the Court House which was on the opposite side.