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Aug 29, 2007

City officials open shelters as waters rise

Story PictureAs the driving deluge engulfed the old capital, assessments by officials of Belize City Council resulted in the decision to give water-logged residents the option of leaving their water-logged homes and flee to hurricane shelters. Deputy Mayor Anthony Michael says the affected areas are spread across the city.

Anthony Michael, Deputy Mayor
“We have our trucks out right now basically doing evacuation for families. We have in the Belama Phase three, Phase four, and Jane Usher Boulevard where we have some families and their houses are being flooded.”

“We have opened some shelters, the Belize Technical College, I think All Saints School. We know Councillor Willoughby is in charge of those shelters and the City Council is doing their part to getting those people into those shelters that are being affected by the flood and we will see how we could assist them with food stuff and other stuff that they need until the water could recede.”

Marion Ali
“Let’s touch on the issue of drainage, which you mentioned. How can the Council deal with the drainage problem?”

Anthony Michael
“Well basically right now, we went around early this morning when the rain started, along with our engineers, along with the sanitation companies and the drainage were functioning. The water was running off until about eight/nine o’ clock there weren’t any flooding in the city. But the city can’t take all this amount of water. We are already below sea level and the amount of water that has fallen and with a high tide.”

“The river can’t take anymore so regardless of what drainage system you have in place, the water has absolutely nowhere to go because the river is higher than what is on the street. Basically the rain has to stop. That’s the first issue. Once the rain stop and we have a low tide and I will give this to the residents, you will see the water recede very quickly in Belize City. We will have our backhoes out, we will have our sludge hock, we will have all necessary equipment that will be out there to make sure this water drains very quickly off the streets of Belize City.”

According to Deputy Mayor Michael, the council’s plan is to assess street conditions and make necessary repairs as soon as the water recedes.

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