Heavy rain in San Ignacio and Sent Elena caused localized flooding in that Western town over the weekend. Area Representative for Cayo North Omar Figueroa explained what the flood was like on Saturday...
Hon. Omar Figueroa - Cayo North Area Rep "Yesterday around midday, we got hit by what can only be described as a freak storm. We had an excessive amount of rain fall in a very short period of time. This produced a lot of water and you know when you have water in hilly terrains, these water will eventually find itself to lower grounds. We had a lot of water going through the streets and going through yards and going through houses in San Ignacio and in Bullet Tree and of course creating a lot of damage. Water became held back in a lot of areas so you had these huge pools of water and people of course had to deal with it."
"It did not last for very long, the rain itself lasted for approximately 2 hours and the water took another few hours before it eventually subsided. Today we had the honor of visit from my good friend and my colleague Hon. Edmond Castro, who is the minister with responsibility for NEMO. So, he came here today and we had the opportunity to tour the affected areas in San Ignacio and in Bullet Tree and try to come up with a plan of action and how to deal with it, how to help the folks that were affected and of course this lead to a larger discussion on not only how to react to things but we need to be a little bit more proactive. We are in the process of developing a larger scale plan to deal with drainage and infrastructure in this area because the world we live in today is one of the changing climate. We can only expect to see the frequency and the intensity of these freak storms increase as time goes on so we have to be better prepared."
Earl Trapp - Mayor, San Ignacio/Santa Elena "It came down suddenly and it was pouring for 2 hours and I can tell you that indeed the water was flowing all over the streets, over the drains and it did affect people from within both municipalities of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. We had some areas like some creeks that were flooded and traffic couldn't pass so people had to move out of their homes in trying to clear out the drains and allow water to flow but because of the large volume of water, I can tell you that nothing could have been until after nature flows and allow the water to clear and then after we brought out some workmen the backhoe and a truck and we began cleaning the debris from the drains."
Area Resident "It affected us more because of the drainage but we have the mayor looking at it. The water was coming all the way from up the hill, so all that water that washes back down, that's what affects us more especially the area. We have our low land area at the back here as you can see and maybe you saw the post that the water covered all that is our yard and it flooded all other houses that are beyond this line here and water that's coming from the orchard it just met and so that affected us a lot yesterday."
They are trying to re-rout future floodwaters to the river.
The rains over the weekend, specifically in the west, cause flashfloods in Bullet Tree and nearby areas in the Cayo District. The waters rose up to eight inches inside homes and damages to property were minimal. Today, when we visited the area, the waters had subsided and NEMO Coordinator Al Westby told News Five that preparedness was a key factor as residents were able to weather the water levels.
Al Westby, NEMO Coordinator, Cayo District
“We got about two hours constant rain nonstop and that attributed to flash flooding within certain communities in the Cayo District, mainly Bullet Tree road, Santiago Juan Layout and parts of Bullet Tree in the new area. However, I must say that some people have been listening to our advertisement that our national coordinator developed and they listened as you can hear that we would suggest that once you live in the low-lying areas, you expect flashfloods in these kinds of event. I must say that I am pleased with the residents of Bullet Tree who expressed to us that as soon as they saw the type of weather, they started putting up their items on higher grounds. And that is what we want and we know that they are listening and they are learning from the training that NEMO is putting out there.”
“Now sir was anyone evacuated from their houses?”
“Not really because the flashflood came yes in the yards and thing and basically it came up at approximately in the low houses, six to eight inches. So it wasn’t that much of an impact on household items.”