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#439767 - 06/05/12 07:31 AM Northern Belize District Inundated  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,807
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Losses to Farmers

And one story that has been bubbling under the surface is the flooding in the Belize District. After 10 days of heavy rain, you might have expected as much.

A tour of the northern Belize district along the old Northern road today showed 40 to fifty farmers losing 90 day crops such as watermelon and sweet pepper.

Some folks have water in their houses and the Old Northern is impassable at night - with the bridge in Lucky Strike and the one by Corozalito both underwater.

There's also water on the crooked tree causeway.

Area Representative Edmund Castro told us more today:..

Hon. Edmund Castro
"Residents along the old Northern Highway have not experience this amount of water since Hurricane Keith I think it was back in the late 90s to early 2000. It's a disaster in this part of the constituency. I will continue on the rest of the tour in the other parts of the constituency."

"I have received calls that the Crooked Tress causeway - parts of it is already under water. A portion of the road leading to Lemonal was washed away over the night and so we will bring equipment from the Ministry of Works so that we can deal with some of the situation."

"The bridge by King's College - I think this is not recommendable for traveling at night especially since the distance that we have to cross to get to the bridge and the bridge is along a curve - it is quite dangerous."

Resident of River Valley
"I can't even get out of my house."

"So what will you do now?"

Resident of River Valley
"I have to try to find somewhere else to go."

"How does this inconvenience you?"

Resident of River Valley
"I can't send my children to school. I can't go to the shop and I can't do anything."

Victor Padia, Farmer in the River Valley
"The weather affects us a lot because this is our livelihood. We live from farming and actually our farm was destroyed totally. As you notice the watermelon, tomatoes and sweet pepper, even the greenhouse - water went inside the house and destroyed everything."

"For the record, explain what the extent of your loss is?"

Victor Padia, Farmer in the River Valley
"Around $15,000.00 in tomato and sweet pepper and whatever else you see at the farm. If I get like $3,000 back, that would be a lot."

Castro says if the rain continues, the region may have to be declared a disaster area.

Channel 7

#439768 - 06/05/12 07:32 AM Re: Northern Belize District Inundated [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,807
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Stormy weather; what was causing all the rains?

The rainy season is here as you’ve probably noticed from the heavy downpour over the past few days. The showers have caused flooding in the Belize River Valley area as well as closures of the Coastal Road and Kendal Crossing. Late this afternoon, the National Emergency Management Organization informed News Five that the rivers have receded and that the Coastal Road and Kendal have been reopened to traffic. But there’s more rain to come according to Forecaster, Michael Gentle at the Belize Met Service. He explains what has been causing the heavy rains and thunderstorms.

Michael Gentle, Forecaster, Belize Met Service

“What we had was a low level feature that we refer to as an easterly wave, which is a shift in the winds from easterly to more east south easterly. At the upper levels we had high pressures or anti cyclone that provide ventilation for development of showers and thunderstorms. The low level feature has moved inland and has weakened while the upper level remains over the area. With the low level feature moving inland, we see a decrease in the low level moisture and this will support a reduction in shower activity, however with the upper level feature remaining in the area, we don’t expect a general improvement but we will see a decrease in the showers. We continue to get some showers basically in the south, during the night time and the morning hours and mostly over inland areas during the afternoon with the variation with the heating in the land areas during the day and the sea during the night time.”

Delahnie Bain

“Can you tell us about what areas have been affected in the past few days?”

Michael Gentle

Michael Gentle

“Okay, especially last night we noticed that the showers and the thunderstorms developed in the south over parts of Guatemala and Honduras and moved up along the coast. We had a deep southerly flow over our area so it transported the moisture up along the coast. So the showers moved from over the south earlier during the night and earlier today they were mostly over the northern part of the country.”

Delahnie Bain

“So how much longer do we expect these rains to continue?”

Michael Gentle

“Okay, we will continue to get some showers, as I mentioned generally in the south and along the coast during the night time and early morning and then over inland areas as the day warms up. But with the low level feature moving away, we don’t expect as much rainfall as we’ve been having the last few days. So we do expect a lull in the rainfall especially coming onto tomorrow.”

Delahnie Bain

“So by the end of the week we should be having better weather?”

Michael Gentle

“Well, by the end of the week we expect the moisture to increase again. So we’ll probably get one or two days break and then the rain is likely to return again. We’re in the rainy season so it’s the time of the year for that.”

Channel 5

#439771 - 06/05/12 07:36 AM Re: Northern Belize District Inundated [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,807
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Belize Rural flooding

Flooding in Rural Belize district

Tonight, residents of communities in the Belize River Valley area are facing the threat of flood waters. The Area Representative today mobilized efforts to try and assist residents of this area. And in Belize City, some parts of the commercial capital were turned into waterways with the heavy downpour overnight and the continuous rains in recent days. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo and video journalist Myles Gillett went to the affected areas today and file the following report.


#439983 - 06/07/12 08:22 AM Re: Northern Belize District Inundated [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,807
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Massive flooding in Belize Rural North affects communities

The Belize District has been experiencing tremendous amounts of rain and in particular the residents of the Belize Rural North have been directly affected. Some residents have lost hundreds of dollars in livestock losses and damages to their homes. Even though the water has started to recede it will weeks before life for these residents can start returning to normal. Area representative Hon Edmund “clear the Land” Castro says that the last time his constituents have seen this type of flooding was 12 years ago in Hurricane Mitch.

Hon. Edmund Castro, Area Representative, Belize Rural North
The last time our people experienced this level of flooding was ten or twelve years ago with Hurricane Mitch or one of the other hurricanes that was off the coast of Belize. We took it likely because it was not a hurricane threat, but now it is the same amount of rainfall that we have received in the Belize Rural North Area, particularly in this part of the area. Last year or the year before, we had tremendous drought; now this time, because of the amount of rain that we have received all at once in a short period of time, it flooded everywhere in terms of the streets, people’s yards and farms.

We spoke with a few of the residents who had to move out of their homes in some instances as well as absorb a massive loss in livestock.

Flood Victim
I am from Biscayne Village, I live at Mile 24. I have been affected by the water; the water ran through my house, I walked out of my bed into two inches of water. It has damaged stuff the house.

Flood Victim
Since Sunday night, we have had some showers up until Monday. The place really got flooded out. For the past three years, I’ve been out there at Rayburn Ridge at Mile 36¼ and overnight the place got flooded out. I have about two to three hundred layer fowls in coops and we had to take them out the night of the storm and put them on a piece of high land out there. Some of the local chickens were underneath the kitchen, about twenty five of them died and about thirty-five of the layers died as well. One of my pigs that costs about three hundred dollars drowned also. The pig pen had about a foot and a half of water in it. My work man called me and told me that my place was under water. I went up there and checked out the situation. A whole pile of watermelon and corns that they planted were destroyed. It was a total of about fifteen hundred dollars in damages.

Hon. Castro says that NEMO is currently conducting assessments of the total damages.

Hon. Edmund Castro
Right now we are at the property in Rayburn Ridge owned by Mr. Che. As you can see he has had a tremendous amount of loss both in the number of chickens he had and other livestock. He also had crops that he lost in the flood of 2012. We are out here trying to access the situation and see how NEMO can come out and help us. Today NEMO along with the Agricultural Department are working to do the stock taking and find out who were the farmers that have been affected and how much of what was lost.

PlusNews will continue to give you updates on these floodings, particularly as the rain season intensifies.


#439993 - 06/07/12 08:41 AM Re: Northern Belize District Inundated [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,807
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Heavy rains caused the flooding of the River Valley

On Tuesday we reported on the loss of crops in the Belize River Valley caused by flooding from recent torrential rains. Closer to the old capital, it is just beginning to get back to normal in the Ladyville area where a primary school had to close for two days due to flooding. Further up, in Lord’s Bank, residents are wading through the water to get to school or work. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

For two days this week, the students of Our Lady of the Way R.C. did not have classes. That’s because the entire school compound was flooded after the weekend of heavy rains. Principal Carol Young says that luckily, only a few teaching materials were destroyed.

Carol Young

Carol Young, Principal, Our Lady of the Way R.C. School

“The first day, the waters were all the way in the classrooms and the second day, which was Tuesday, yesterday we had to come and clean out the mess that the water left behind. Some teachers went home and probably there was some stuff on the floor because we didn’t expect the water to come that bad and some of it got wet but nothing that would really affect the teaching. But it wasn’t a nice situation to have the kids come in and sit over those waters so we had to call off classes yesterday after we cleaned up the area.”

Today, there is not as much water on the compound and classes resumed, but Young says some students still stayed at home.

Carol Young

“Even today we don’t have—I would say not even ninety-five percent are here because they thought probably the water is still here, but the water is gone. Even though some classrooms are still wet because you know at the back of the school, we have water still settled and so it seeps in through the walls and some classrooms still have a little bit of water. So I think most parents or the majority who didn’t come kept them at home because they thought that we’re still flooded.”

But it is not only the school that has been affected; Area Rep, Dolores Balderamos Garcia has found that residents throughout the Ladyville/Lords Bank area have had to deal with rising waters in their yards and on the roads.

Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Area Representative, Belize Rural Central

“What the camera is capturing is just an example of the severe way in which the roads and the drains have been affected with the incessant rains. We really wanted to call some attention to it. Basically, like I said this is only an example, if we go more to the back of Lords Bank, you will see people still under water, roads washed out. As you can see, the London bridge situation is not only confined to Belize City. I have been in discussions with some of the officials at the Ministry of Works and they say that we are on a list, but of course we have to draw attention. I mean I’m not saying only Ladyville and Lords Bank are being affected, but we have over on the Western Highway the Western Paradise area, Hattieville and even going into Gracie Rock, for example. So it’s very severe.”

Both Garcia and Young, who is also the Lords Bank Chairlady, agree that the problem is a lack of proper drainage. And according to Garcia, she will keep pressuring the Ministry of Works for assistance.

Carol Young

“I am sure that they need to do something about the drainage because over the years, people have built up all around the school and you know some of them fill their property and so that throws the water into our yard. And if the village had proper drainage, then I think it would take off the water much faster.”

Dolores Balderamos Garcia

Dolores Balderamos Garcia

“You can see the severe washing away of the road because of the lack of drainage. And basically, as people have been saying to me, Ms. Dolores we noh want no grader because grader wah come and scrape away more of the material and it gets even lower for the next time around. So what we’re asking for now is that we need some material. Now, I know that the quarries are all drenched and it’s difficult to bring out material but I think the first need and I would look for the responsiveness of the Ministry of Works, is for the drainage to be attended to both in the Mirage Road area and also by the Ladyville RC School where you were, but also here in Lords Bank in particular. So we will keep up the pressure. So far I get a good feeling of cooperation but that doesn’t mean to say we can let up at all.”

In the meantime, Young says school supplies will be stored in high areas and they will be prepared for more rains. This is a crucial time for students to be in class since exams begin next Monday. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

Since the area is prone to flooding, Our Lady of the Way R.C. is considering raising the classroom floors to mitigate flooding.

Channel 5

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