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Nov 17, 2015

NEMO Provides Update on Flooding in the West

In respect of the flooding in the west, on Monday’s newscast we told you that several crossings including the Iguana Creek Bridge, the low-lying wooden bridge that connects San Ignacio to Santa Elena and the ferries at Baking Pot, Central Farm and Succotz were out of commission. Water levels had been fluctuating along the Macal and Mopan Rivers, and for NEMO personnel…the pattern was similar to that of the 2008 Tropical Depression Sixteen that wreaked havoc on Cayo and Belize districts. But that concern is now readily dismissed because water levels are receding slowly. NEMO Coordinator on the ground in Cayo, Al Westby, gave an update to News Five today saying that the Iguana Creek Bridge is still under three feet of water and the ferries are still closed to vehicular traffic.


On the Phone: Al Westby, NEMO Coordinator, Cayo District

“There’s good news for us and for the people living along the banks of the Mopan and Macal Rivers. Both rivers have been receding slowly, but it is a positive. But we are still very cautious.  Both bridges are still closed—the low-lying bridge in Santa Elena/San Ignacio and the Iguana Creek Bridge still remain closed along with the ferry at Baking Pot and the ferry at Succotz.”


Al Westby

Duane Moody

“Sir you said the waters are receding, but slowly. Do you have an estimate of how high it is above normal or anything like that?”


On the Phone: Al Westby

“Based on our last check from the Ministry of Works engineer, the Iguana Creek Bridge still has about three feet of water above the bridge. Now the low-lying bridge, which is the Macal River, the bridge is cleared but what we usually do, the engineers wait until the water go below the decking of the bridge so that they could make good checks that it is safe for vehicles and pedestrians to pass over the bridge. You just don’t open the bridge because the water is cleared from over it; we make good checks…the engineer makes good checks that it is safe and then we go from there. So we go with what the engineer from Ministry of Works decides to do.”


Duane Moody

“Sir, in some areas, the rains persist. Was that the case for Cayo?”


On the Phone: Al Westby

“Most definitely the rains have stopped in, I would say, all areas, especially in the Mountain Pine Ridge. That’s where a lot of the damage comes from and then up in Flores, Peten area. We’ve had beautiful weather most of today. We had a little rain this morning but nothing much. So for right now, I think it is going great for the people living in the western side of Belize.”


Duane Moody

“Sir those living alongside the banks of those rivers, are they still supposed to be cautious about how they thread moving forward?”


On the Phone: Al Westby

“Oh most definitely because…you have to remember the water is still above normal. There is still strong current. The river is still flooded, not because it is receding; it is still flooded. So we keep out the same cautious to all the people living along the Mopan and the Macal river banks in the flood prone areas. Just stay cautious and just don’t get too careless.”


We’ll have much more on the flooding later in the weather update. 

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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