There is water everywhere. The level of the Mopan River has also risen significantly; in fact, as much as eight feet above the normal level that villagers in San Jose Succotz are used to. The National Emergency Management Organization has advised that communities along the Mopan are notified that they must be on high alert and take action to save life and property. It is expected that more communities will experience flooding from water running off the mountains and hills. The Macal and Mopan Rivers are at a major flood stage and the Institute of Archaeology recognizes this. In the San Jose Succotz Village, there is the Xunantunich hand cranked River Ferry that allows visitors to cross the Mopan River and head to archeological site. Associated Director for Park Management, George Thompson says that the institute views the situation as unprecedented. He explains what is being done to protect the ferry.
George Thompson, Associated Director for Park Management, Institute of Archaeology
“We have dealt with flooding situation for example during hurricanes and so on but we are dealing like you said with an unprecedented situation here. The ferry is the main mode of transportation to cross the site, to cross to get into Xunantunich Archeological Reserve which of course if a main tourism destination. Of course the ferry for us represents not only the access but also a significant investment so we have to make sure that we protect the investment. At the moment we have the staff, we have twenty four hour rotation who monitor the ferry, monitor the river level. As the river rises we adjust tension to the ferry and when it receives we release the ferry to ensure that it floats at all times and to make sure that it is actually secure to the anchors. The main pulleys and so on that drive the ferry across the river we release those and to let them drop in the river. That is to protect against trees, logs and debris that are coming down stream. Also to prevent the cables from breaking. That is what they are doing at the moment.”
“From your observation over the past few days, at this point is the water continuing to rise or is it going down?”
“Actually it is continuing to rise. That is why we are monitoring it. That is why we have released two cables already so we are on the third cable. The reason why we are releasing the third main cable is because the river is actually rising. We are monitoring the level where they are at the moment. There is a pillar at the bottom and that is what we are monitoring. So it has touched the top of that pillar so we are releasing the third cable.”