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Nov 2, 2016

Hurricane Victims Receive NEMO Assistance Following Overnight Downpour

Hurricane Earl struck Belize on August third causing substantive damages to properties in the city and elsewhere. And despite all efforts to bring relief to families affected, many are still struggling to restore normalcy to their lives. With rains bearing down since Tuesday night, the City Emergency Management Organization is visiting those families whose houses are further deteriorating given the weather conditions. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Torrential overnight rains in Belize City have proven difficult for residents who are still recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Earl.  Across the Old Capital, there are houses that are yet to be visited by the National Emergency Management Organization, post the natural disaster.  One such residence is the Magazine Road home of Marie Vernon.  The severe weather system damaged the roof of her two storey abode, causing water from the Tuesday night downpour to leak into her rooms.

 

Marie Vernon

Marie Vernon, Resident, Magazine Road

“After Hurricane Earl I’ve been living just as how you see me, as I am now.  I need help because my roof has been broken and it got some leak for which I needed help and I got one friend of mine telling me about NEMO and she told me, giving me a number to call NEMO which I did.  And I got in touch with Mr. Willoughby from NEMO and for which he is a very good man and he is seeking help to, to help me.”

 

That formal assistance is yet to come.  For now CEMO Coordinator Phillip Willoughby, accompanied by a contractor, are visiting the home of the elderly woman to see how best they can help in addressing her immediate needs.  The roof over Vernon’s head is faulty and she has had to buttress the ceiling with a mop broom, supported from below by a bathtub which also collects the dripping water.

 

Phillip Willoughby

Phillip Willoughby, CEMO Coordinator

“We have visited with Ms. Vernon, I think, on three occasions prior to the contractor now being here and the contractor will now put two tarps on the roof, covering the room that you just saw personally, upfront and close.  So this is being done for several homeowners once they are on that list and they meet the requisite requirements.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“You have been doing your rounds since this morning, what are some of the areas that you have observed in light of last night’s rains that need immediate attention?”

 

Phillip Willoughby

“Well, information, you know we deh below sea level, point blank.  Last night’s rains, this morning’s rain came with high tide, so you know that would have created, for lack of a better word, inundation of water across the city.  So what the sanitation manager briefed me is that we need to get the drains and culverts in those hotspot areas across the city.”

 

Vernon’s home may not fall within the ambit of that CitCo initiative, but the much needed assistance to help her brave the rains is going a long way.

 

Isani Cayetano

“Talk to us about how you were able to hold up in all that rain overnight.”

 

Marie Vernon

“Well I just have to accept it, that’s all and set my pan or whatever it is to catch the water.  I don’t worry about it because I know I will get help from NEMO, which they did and they brought me some stuff to put on the top until such time that they are ready to do work.”

 

A schedule for work to commence on Vernon’s home has been created.  She joins a list of residents who are still awaiting long-term assistance from the National Emergency Management Organization. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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