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Jun 20, 2017

Fighting flooding in the City

The hurricane season is only a few weeks old and there are two storms presently churning in the Atlantic, though neither are close to Belize. Closer to home, though, is the ongoing rain producing system over our immediate area. Most of the country has seen rainfall in the course of the last few days, and flooding and associated conditions are once again a concern. Even with all the upgrades to the City’s infrastructure, can the Old Capital withstand significant damage from floods with the hurricane season expected to be active? According to Mayor Darrell Bradley, the City now has enough in place – and is expecting more – that will be able to mitigate even the worst problems in a City long-used to them.

 

Darrell Bradley, Mayor of Belize City

Darrell Bradley

“We had a hurricane again in November of last year and the run off time was much improved. This was as a result of the IDB funded flood mitigation projects and some of the works that the City Council has been doing in infrastructure. So that we had flooding situations in front of the Queen Street Police Station, we had flooding situations in front of Freetown Road by the ITVET. We marked certain areas. We continue to have problems along Caesar Ridge Road. We notice that after the hurricanes, that area was impassable for at least two days. We know the areas of Belize City which are low laying and which are flood prone. But again because of our strategy and our responsiveness I am very confident that we will be able to restore the city to a working condition within a few days. One of the things that you have to be mindful of is that the city again as you rightly pointed out is at sea level, so that we will take water, we will be flooded, but when we do these projects, when we deal with flood mitigation and when we deal with issues of drain cleaning, what we look at is the run off time and we track that, so that we have seen that there has been a much improved run off time with the various storms which you would have seen in Belize City the last 2-3 years. One of the things I’ll also put as a plug-in here, last night you had quite heavy rains and Belize City was dry by the morning. You would have seen that there has been an improvement. Clearly we are not where we need to be as yet.”

 

According to the Mayor, there is a flood mitigation unit that has been formed at the Belize City Council to work on real-time flood mitigation. Equipment will be received to clean drains so that run-off can flow easily.

 

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