King Street after Hattie

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Hector Silva:

Let us go back to Hurricane Hattie of 1961, ( Sixty years ago. )

Those of us who heard, that it was coming to Belize on that evening of October 29th 1961, at about 4.15 PM, from the trembling voice of BHBS Radio announcer, Mr Eustace Usher- Those of us who saw it coming, when flocks of birds flew in a Southerly direction. - and when Belize City residents formed a band with sounds of hammering nails. - - BUT more frightening when many people BID FAREWELL TO THEIR HOMES.

The description of the magnitude of this killer storm was. that it would begin battering Belize City about Mid Night with winds as high as 150 MPH and that it would bring high tides of up to 20 to 30 feet high.

For me it was time to move my family to higher lands, Cayo my Constituency as Mayor and newly elected Representative.

NOW MY IMMEDIATE ASSESMENT AFTER THE STORM PASSED WAS PHENOMENAL. Imagine the Macal River in San Ignacio running UP STREAM. - The flood almost touched the Hawkesworth Bridge and other rare events not to mention the vast inundation all around.

BUT THE LESSON LEARNED WAS don't play with a Hurricane. - Belize City lost its Heart Beat for a while and lost its Landscape. Some Islands like Sergeant Caye disappeared, other Islands wee split in by deep channels. - AND believe me or not, Belize City experience heavy TREMORS and TORNADOES. - The vegetation all around was SCORCHED with the friction of the strong winds.

IN FACT IN MY VISIT TO BARBADOES, we were briefed at the CARIBBEAN MET OFFICE on the irreparable damages which Hurricane Hattie may have caused to the Belize Landscape and which are still visible.

SO I KNOW WHAT IS A STRONG HURRICANE AND ITS AFTER EFFECTS, I heard it coming, I saw it coming and I felt it when it came.


George Price chatting three days after Hattie.

Hector Silva: In this picture, First Minister George Price was talking to the Honorable Fred Westby, Area Representative for the Albert Division, and Mayor of Belize City. This was right after Hurricane Hattie. ( Note - On March 2nd,1961, the PUP had won all 18 Constituencies. - Boss Fred won the Albert Division. (Note - George Price served as Belize's First Mayor 1958 to 1960.) They were discussing no doubt, the rehabilitation and reconstruction of aterrible destroyed Belize City. The two gentlemen on the right were Boss Fred City Foreman and the old man with the Felt Hat was a faithful PUP supporter who used to sell the Belize Times.

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Austin Bernard Garbutt
I survived Hattie on Half Moon Caye where my Father was the Light House Keeper, it was reported at the time that Hattie made a very unusual turn to the South West from heading towards Cuba and being out on the Caye was very traumatic

Rudi R. Burgos
Quite a schizophrenic storm, multiple personalities;. Hattie arrived in Belize and then decided to cross to the Pacific. When she got there she changed her name to "Simone". Apparently did not like it there crossed into the Gulf of Mexico. That crazy lady decided to change her name to "Inga". Crazy storm not making up it's mind.

Nick Pollard
Hundreds who lost their homes and were provided with barracks homes which was named Hattie Ville. It is located on the Western Hwy approx 16 mls from Belize City.


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Washing salvaged clothes after Hattie Hurricane at Loverís Point, Belize City November 1961. Lovers Point is where the fishermen used to land with their catch to sell at the Barracks just at the beginning of Eve Street in Belize City.

Brian Keating
That same area used to serve as a little fish market in the evenings when the fishermen came in with their catch.

Lesley Sullivan
Yes the top end of Eve St. Really interesting to see this photo. My families house would have been about where those 2 palm trees are on the water side. The house was wiped out.

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Alan Jackson:
Here's nearly the same spot 17 years later (Sept 1978.)

Lesley Sullivan
It is the top end of Eve St. You can just see our house, its the aqua colored one on the left side behind the orange truck. Brings back so many memories.

Yvonne Paulette Hunter Romero
Thatís in front of the house we lived in and exactly what we were doing after hurricane Greta, washing the mud out of clothes in the sea.