The 2010 hurricane season officially ends today. During the months of June to November, there were three scares but the category one hurricane called Richard hit Belize hard when it was least expected. Millions of dollars were racked up in damages and there was loss of life. The worst is over and News Five’ Delahnie Bain found out that the season was as busy as anticipated.
Delahnie Bain, Reporting
We can all breathe a sigh of relief because the 2010 hurricane season officially closes today. And it certainly lived up to predictions for an active season; beaten only by the seasons of 1995 and 1887 for the most named storms.
Dennis Gonguez, Chief Meteorologist
“This season we saw nineteen named storms, twelve of those became hurricanes and of those twelve five were intense hurricanes; major hurricanes category three four or five. In a normal year we would get ten named systems, six of which would be hurricanes and two of those would be major systems. So this was a very active year particularly over the northwestern Caribbean in our neck of the woods.”
Our first threat, Tropical Storm Alex, came in mid June, bringing heavy wind and rains, but not much damage.
“On the twenty-sixth of June at about six p.m. Tropical Storm Alex, the first named system of the season made landfall in Belize just about twenty miles or so north of Belize City and at the time of landfall it had about sixty-five miles per hour winds. Destruction from Alex was fairly minimal. It was a very large system.”
Karl and Matthew were next in line. They passed within ten days of each other, but they too were all breeze and no bite.
“On the fifteenth of September, Tropical Storm Karl made landfall just to the north of the country of Belize—just to the north of Chetumal city—it had about forty miles per hour winds at landfall and tropical storm Karl did not any significant impact on Belize except in the extreme north of the country where we had some closure of the Corozal Freezone. Tropical Storm Matthew, another week system made landfall just around Monkey River in the south. The major effect from Tropical Storm Matthew was three to seven inches of rainfall that affected the southern parts of the country and resulted in minor to moderate flooding in that area.”
After being spared a third time, residents let their guard down and then came hurricane Richard. That was the storm that pummeled central and southern Belize.
“On the evening of Sunday October twenty-fourth, hurricane Richard made landfall just to the south of Belize City, about twenty miles or so to the south of Belize City near the Galespoint area. It cut a path directly west across the country, maintaining its strength all the way to the Guatemalan border. Richard was a system that caused major structural damage; much of the country we know was out of power for some time. The citrus industry, the citrus crops were all blown off the trees and we know the misery that hurricane Richard caused with the destruction of homes in its path. Most importantly, it caused two loss of lives. We have to check on our hurricane plans. How did those plans work out this season? What changes can we make to have those plan work even more efficiently in the next hurricane season coming up?”
So as the season closes, the rebuilding and restoring continues to normalize life in the hardest hit areas. Delahnie Bain for News Five.
While he advised the public to review their hurricane plans, the Chief Meteorologist also noted that the National Met Service is fine-tuning its own preparation for the 2011 season.