The rains have come early this year, leaving Belize with a shortened summer.

The Belize Meteorological Service has confirmed that this week's rains signal the onset of the rainy season.

This is bad news for cane farmers who need dry fields to harvest their sugarcane.

The Kendal causeway was closed for a few hours on Tuesday due to rising water. It was re-opened around 7:50AM on Wednesday, May 19.

Mr. Cadet Henderson, Cheif Executive Officer in the Ministry of Works, in a telephone interview told The Reporter that the early rains have not caused many problems on the country's major highways.

Of all the bridges in the country, he said, only the Kendal causeway on the Southern Highway and Mullins River bridge on the Coastal Highway were affected by rising water. Both approaches to the Mullins River bridge have been damaged by the waters.

The new bridge at Rancho Dolores had some problems, but the engineers fixed those around 2:00AM on Wednesday, Henderson said. There have been no reports of flooding on the Western Highway.

Henderson said funding has already been secured to replace the Kendal and Mullins River bridges. The funding is coming from the Caribbean Development Bank .

Tenders are expected to be submitted by July 15 this year for the two projects. The tenders will be open to foreign companies as part of the conditions of the CDB funding, Henderson disclosed.

The Reporter