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Heavy Rain Impacting Belize #526619
10/25/17 04:28 AM
10/25/17 04:28 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 76,270
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City Flooding: the Contingencies

And while the rising rivers threaten Cayo, in Belize City it's the sea level and inadequate drainage that causes concern. This morning, with the hours of heavy rain there was dramatic flooding in the city - which took a few hours to run off. By this evening, most streets were back to normal but schools had to be cancelled, and in many cases children had to be sent home after water overtook their classrooms. The Belize City Council was expecting it. Yesterday CITCO and NEMO met to discuss a plan for the heavy rains and Phillip Willoughby briefed us on what the plan for the city is.

Phillip Willoughby, City Councilor
"What we did was a basic overview and assessment of where we were over the last few days of rain and what is the projection going into the remainder of the week and what it is that the city would have to contend with in terms of the extraordinary amount of rains that is coming our way and has affected our city."

"We know that it's a wide area of low pressure. There is a possibility of a cold front and what effects these systems will have on the city over the next few days. So what we outlined and information I requested was for us to identify strategically key and high priority areas that would need the city's attention immediately. So we had the office, our in-house emergency office basically try to communicate with each and every school within city limits, high schools, primary schools and so forth, to see what the conditions is like within the proximity of the school and the immediate vicinity of the school and upon receiving that information we went out and we did an immediate assessment of the affects that system has had in the surrounding areas. We also took into consideration under the area of high priority access of essential services be it the health centers, the medical facilities and so forth and other services that residents of the city needs to receive. So those are areas of priority at this moment. We went out and we look at Northside proper yesterday and we will be doing Southside this afternoon."

Willougby says if you are in a situation where your home is completely flooded, you can contact the Belize City Council or NEMO to get immediate assistance.

Flood Waters Going Up In Cayo

All this rain won't let up! It has been pouring since this weekend and many areas are now flooding out. The low lying bridge in Cayo as well as the Iguana Creek Bridge are impassable tonight and they are both closed. We traveled to San Ignacio today and the Mayor gave us an update on the flood situation.

Earl Trapp, Mayor - San Ignacio and Santa Elena
"I can say since Sunday the rains began. As a matter of fact we had our 113th anniversary of the existence of San Ignacio of El Cayo. We had a ceremony and we were under the rain. So it's been raining torrentially since Sunday and it continued through yesterday up to this morning."

"I've been in contact with the NEMO coordinator for this area who is Mr. Al Westby and he is saying that up to last night and this morning the rain was slowing down. The Mollejon it was spilling over, but somehow it is reducing already. So with that, he [Westby] is not expecting much more flooding. If you notice it is still raining, so if the rain continues then he is saying that the people in the low-laying areas should take heed and begin thinking of probably relocating temporarily."

Courtney Weatherburne reporter
"And when you say low-laying areas you are talking about Santa Familia and Bullet Tree - those villages?"

Earl Trapp, Mayor - San Ignacio and Santa Elena
"All communities along both rivers; Macal and Mopan Rivers. As well we have low-laying areas here within the towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena."

Courtney Weatherburne reporter
"Areas such as?"

Earl Trapp, Mayor - San Ignacio and Santa Elena
"We have the Cayo Northeast area, behind the Sacred Heart College. That area normally floods when its raining and we have the area in Santa Elena which is the area known as the area behind the sports complex which is along Requena Street. The NEMO coordinator said to me that the Baking Pot Ferry, the Iguana Creek Bridge and of course our low-laying bridge has been closed to vehicular traffic."

As you heard if it continues to rain those in low lying areas will need to evacuate. As for down South, there is no flooding in Sarawee or Hope Creek. It was only Hopkins road that got flooded but that is receding.

Channel 7

Mayor Trapp comments on the Flooding in the Cayo District

And while authorities monitor the rising water in Belize City, in the San Ignacio Santa Elena towns, authorities are taking precaution as the river rises there. We spoke with Mayor Earl Trapp over the telephone who says the first to be evacuated are vendors at the market area.

Mayor Earl Trapp

“All the market vendors have been packing up and leaving the area as we have been heading to them to move out because of the waters coming down from the three dams that are overflowing and as well we are having torrential rains coming from Guatemala’s side so that area I can tell you that Kala Creek had been flooding already some houses were underwater and I spoke to Al Westby who told me that he should be back by 6 p.m. and he should be calling a meeting and activate the committee and if there should arise any need for them to open the shelters they are going to do so but so far seventy percent of the market vendors have evacuated the market area as the water level continues to rise rapidly, its only about four feet before it reaches the level from the corridor there.”


“At this moment though there are no real emergencies?”

Mayor Earl Trapp

“No. No real emergencies.”


City and Most of Belize under Deluge from Rains

In typical October style, the rains descended over the city and the western part of the country. Today, several schools sent students home and motorists and pedestrians had to navigate their way through streets with several inches of water. The downpour during this time is not unusual for October, but News Five’s Andrea Polanco spoke with the met service to find out what is causing these rains and how much more of it we can expect in the coming days. Here’s that story.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Several inches of water covered streets across the city, as well as portions of the Philip Goldson Highway. Traffic moved slowly along the inundated streets – and pedestrians had no choice to but to traverse the dirty waters to get to their destinations. The water quickly spilled into residents’ yards, compounds of work places and even in schoolyards and buildings. Many schools affected by the water had to close early and send the students home. Climatologist Ronald Gordon explains the reason behind the rains that have caused the flooding.

Ronald Gordon, Climatologist, National Met Service

“Over the weekend we have two tropical waves that crossed us and that was what supported the weather over the weekend. What we have now is a trough of low-pressure of us in the north-west Caribbean and then we have a front coming down, so, basically, we have moisture converging before this front along the trough and that is what has been creating all the weather that we have been having.”

Andrea Polanco

“Now, as it relates to the rainfall; are you able to discuss with us the inches of rainfall we have seen across the country?”

Ronald Gordon

“First of all, here at the Airport starting since Sunday we have seen two point two inches; the twenty-third, we had three inches and on today, the twenty-fourth, we have three point five inches so far. So, that is a lot of rain. The rest of the country, when we look at this image here, we are only looking at rainfall for the past eighteen hours. Here at the airport we have had the highest with ninety point two millimeters. I have switched unit there with you. Even up to the western portions of the country, we are looking at fifty-five point four millimeters in Benque, so it has been countrywide but concentrated mostly along the northeast coast.”

A number of schools and businesses have closed their doors today in western Belize. The Iguana Creek Bridge in Spanish Lookout and the low-lying wooden bridge in Santa Elena-San Ignacio have closed to traffic.  While Cayo and Belize Districts are experiencing most of the flooding, low-lying areas and those who operate on the seas in other parts of Belize should also exercise caution. There will be more rains over the next twenty-four hours.

Ronald Gordon

“We are already experiencing flooding and that will continue. For the next 24 hours the chances of flooding are very high and like I mentioned we have had rainfall from since the weekend, as a matter fact, from last week so the soils are very saturated and with additional rainfall we expect that this will continue.”

Andrea Polanco

“For the next day or so?”

Ronald Gordon

“Precisely for the next twenty-four hours we expect additional rainfalls and then we expect a cold front to cross us and then tomorrow we have the front approaching the Yucatan. That front is going to cross us during the day and after it crosses us it will take most of the moisture out back to sea.”

Andrea Polanco

“So, the rain should slow down a bit?”

Ronald Gordon

“That’s right.  We expect cloudy, cool and windy conditions behind the front on Wednesday night and Thursday. It is one of those fronts that is not going to go too far so it will start back up and bring back moisture by Friday, so conditions should become a little bit more moist by Friday.”

Andrea Polanco

“Considering that the flooding is concentrated in this part of the country, as well as the west, will the southern coastal areas experience any flooding [if it hasn’t arrived there as yet]? “

Ronald Gordon

“The possibility of flooding, the type of flooding that we expect down south is more flash flooding type near rivers and streams. So, that is quite likely to occur, indeed.”

Andrea Polanco

“Now, for people going out to sea, are they supposed to exercise any degree of caution?”

Ronald Gordon

“Yes. We currently have a small craft caution in effect for gusty winds and occasionally rough seas near showers and thunderstorms. After the front crosses us tomorrow, I think winds are gonna become even gustier and stronger, so we might upgrade that to a warning at that time.”

And CEMO has been monitoring the rainfall. While families have not had to move out of their homes, CEMO says they have been visiting schools to see how best to assist. The City Council, through the flood mitigation project, hopes to use a newly acquired vacuum truck to clear out the drains to help reduce flooding in the city. But until that happens, a more permanent solution to the drainage problems in the city remains a work in progress.

Philip Willoughby, CEMO, Belize City Council

“We are still out doing assessments in these high priority areas; schools, health centers, areas that people need access to government services, essential services, and by and large that is what we are doing by these high priority areas that face these flooding situations. So, to mitigate and facilitate the fast flow, smooth flow of runoff of all this water that has inundated the streets and affected the city. The weather has hold up a bit and with that we will have an excellent opportunity to see where an why for the reason being for these clogged drains not functioning properly or the manholes not functioning properly and then we will proceed to clean these drains and flush them out, as well as the culverts.”

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

Channel 5

City and Most of Belize under Deluge from Rains

In typical October style, the rains descended over the city and the western part of the country. Today, several schools sent students home and motorists and pedestrians had to navigate their way through streets with several inches of water. The downpour during this time is not unusual for October, but News Five’s Andrea Polanco spoke with the met service to find out what is causing these rains and how much more of it we can expect in the coming days. Here’s that story.

Re: Heavy Rain Impacting Belize [Re: Marty] #526648
10/26/17 05:55 AM
10/26/17 05:55 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 76,270
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

Marty  Online Happy OP

Floodwaters Recede in Cayo - Could Be Coming To Belize District

The floodwaters in the Cayo District are receding very slowly - and it will be some days before the temporary bridge and the Iguana Creek Bridge are re-opened. That is, assuming no more heavy waters come down from Peten. The waters at the three dams in the Cayo District are also reported to be receding.

Now, the attention has turned to the Belize District is bracing for water coming down from the west. NEMO today held meetings with village chairmen and is urging livestock owners in the River Valley to be prepared for possible floodwaters coming down.

Channel 7

Re: Heavy Rain Impacting Belize [Re: Marty] #526698
10/27/17 01:24 PM
10/27/17 01:24 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 76,270
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

Marty  Online Happy OP

Heavy Rains and flooded streets frustrate Ambergris Caye residents

Constant rains have battered Belize over the last several days, making quite an impact on the streets of San Pedro Town. Many of the roads within subdivisions around town have turned into waterways, many of which are impassable. Local authorities are yet to respond to pleas for help.

According to residents in areas like as DFC, San Pablo, Escalante, San Pedrito and San Juan, this an ongoing issue every year. “A permanent solution should be put into place by the local authorities… they know this happens every year,” one resident from DFC told The Sun. “I have noticed that a couple businesses have been terribly affected by the large pools of water in front of their establishments.”

In some parts of these subdivisions, residents have no choice but to walk through stagnant water and mud in order to get their day to day activities done. Some of them say that taxis are refusing to pick up people in some areas, and so they are forced to find their way to the main roads for rides. “No one from the Town Council has even come to see how dire the situation is at this moment, or how they could help,” said a resident of the Escalante subdivision.

After over a week of non-stop rain, on Wednesday, October 25th a cold front brought the countrywide showers to a halt. This is a relief for many island residents who have been affected by the flooding in their respective areas, however, it may take several days before the stagnant waters go away. Many hope that by next week, the SPTC steps in to evaluate the damage of the rains and begins to address the most affected areas.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun

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