Major flooding affects western and southern communities and kills a Succotz man
The torrential rains over the weekend affected southern and western communities where water levels rose significantly. The flooding has already taken one life. In Succotz, a man, sixty-five year old Carlos Valdez died after his dorey capsized while crossing the river and we’ll bring you all the details of that story on Tuesday. News Five headed elsewhere in the west where communities were experiencing flooding in their homes, yards and streets. While in some areas, waters are receding, rain is forecasted for the rest of the week. Duane Moody has a report on how communities are faring off.
Duane Moody, Reporting
Western and southern Belize have been afflicted by torrential rains over the weekend. The downpour, which started on Friday evening, has caused flooding in villages along the George Price and the Hummingbird Highways and has made many roads impassable. In certain areas water rose as high as three feet and into homes.
Our first stop was Teakettle where waters rose in minutes on Friday night and flooded homes in the village. Even though Dorita Montero lives on a slope, her house was still flooded.
Dorita Montero, Affected by Flooding
“We mi done di sleep already and we hear that rolling and I tell my common-law husband. And then he open window and we peep out and ih say wah pipe buss. And when he come out, when we walk out we see all the water di bubble up and ih mi really look weird. When we look, we see water di fly out from out there. All my kids stuff and dehn bag, books, everything get wet, wet, wet. Then water start to wash into the room. And when dehn come down, we start to take out water with bucket and all from out yah. Ih mi deh high. We had to dig a drain, middle night because the water continue and we couldn’t control the water. The next day, whole day we di bail out water with bucket and thing.”
And in Arizona, the situation was much worse. Several residents were evacuated to shelters while others weathered the rains. For Aaron Hyde, water continues to stream under his house.
Aaron Hyde, Affected by Flooding
“Every rainy season it is the same thing every time. Every time the water come from behind the lots them, ih rush across like a river and pass through this land and go into the next side and then into the river and then it wash out. but only when rainy season happen; then this dah weh happen through fi we land. But when dry weather, it is very nice.”
“How high did your water rise because I know it started from Friday?”
“It raise about four foot because some people have to catch their chickens when it pass through the water. So it is very difficult out this side.”
“How high did it rise inside your house?”
“Mussi about a foot inside my house.”
Tremendously affected was the Salvapan and San Martin areas in the outskirts of Belmopan. Families wade through the foot-deep waters that inundate the streets to get to their homes and to shops. But while by far, the waters have receded, the situation is grim for Jorge Valladares and his family. Their yard is under waist-deep water and they had to seek shelter at the UB Gymnasium along with several other families on Sunday.
Jorge Valladares, Affected by Flooding
“The water start to rise from Friday night. Saturday night whole day it was raining. Saturday night I managed to get my family from back ya. I stay dah my ma house. Yesterday morning, I came back and the house was flooded.”
“You had been mentioning earlier that there is a reason why you in particular decided to move out; your daughter.”
“My daughter suffers from asthma. So I said best thing move out. That was the point I spoke to my wife and if anything cause I can’t do anything. I have to face it how it comes.”
The Valladares family has been living at this location for one year. It is even harder because once it rains for long periods of time; this is the condition he is faced with; not to mention that his house is burglarized any time they evacuate.
“It happened before. When it is flooded, they broke into my yard, into my house. So when it floods, I have to keep coming back three times per day to check on my stuff. The assistance I received was the B.D.F. this morning around twelve o’clock, they assist me to just move mi stuff—the lee bit of things weh I back because me and mi wife clothes still in there wet up.”
Valladares says his biggest fear is how much longer they will be allowed to remain inside the shelter. Duane Moody for News Five.
The Ministry of Health as well as Belize Water Services Limited are asking residents in the affected areas to boil water before consumption because of contamination. Consumption includes drinking, brushing teeth, washing fruits and vegetables, preparing food or baby formula, making juice, drinks or ice and giving to pets.