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Jan 24, 2006

…While Belize City residents suffer a soaking

Story PictureAnd while the flooding in the rolling hills of Cayo went down just as fast as it came up, for residents of a city barely above sea level, it was a different story… one that has many people soaking mad.

Frank Longsworth, Area resident
?I noh know how I?m gonna recover from this right now. It?s gonna take a while to recover, because if you notice, my washing machine, that?s gone, that?s totalled and that?s a good washing machine. I fix washing machines and different things and all dem motos and things dem gone.?

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting
In Belize City the water that fell incessantly through the night quickly flooded streets and homes. In Port Loyola, many residents had no choice but to wade through the newly created canals or remain indoors. Most of the streets were under water in the neighbourhood of Jane Usher Boulevard, making life even more difficult for disadvantaged residents.

It did not take long before the water filled Frank Longsworth?s small living quarters.

Frank Longsworth
?Knowing the condition, I didn?t have no feeling that it was gonna rain that long to have this much water. But when it start raining really long and the water start rising, then I was a bit worried.?

The residents say this is the first time the neighbourhood has collected so much water and they believe the flood is being caused by a nearby development project.

Jacqueline Woods
?How have you guys been coping with the wet conditions??

Ashanti Gonguez, Area Resident
?Well ma?am, we di try do we best right now, avoid the kids from come outside due to the water and everything how it di rain, every minute it di rain and stuff. We di try get with it and stuff.?

Jacqueline Woods
?Your place is totally surrounded by water.?

Ashanti Gonguez
?Yes, surrounded right around. You can?t see nothing else, everything di float, bicycles, drum, everything just di float right round and dah wah real disaster. They should come back yah and take a further peek, because due to where they dig the canal dah back yah, it look like it stop up everything and then the water can?t go nowhere, so it settle right on this side.?

Frank Longsworth
?Since they start doing the work over there, it seems like that closed up the outlet, the drainage start to close up. And by them closing up the drainage we find that the water start to raise and raise and raise and it just went outta control.?

Ashanti Gonguez
?This dah the worst, because when it mi rain them couple times, them days before, it never stand like this; this street nevah full. But I noh know, two days now and this dah weh we di get. Imagine if we get a extra three more days, we might full.?

Joseph Petillo, Area Resident
?Inna this flood yah we have children playing in water and nobody from Health come, nobody from Health Department come and see about that. They should be the first one respond to these situation yah.?

Joan Mariano, Area Resident
?When it rain like a day or two, you start to see it rise just like this. Bout inna last year the same thing mi happen. When it rain, my son almost drowned right deh, that same spot weh you see deh. He run from so, he slipped down right deh. If somebody nevah there fi pick ah up, he mi wah drowned.?

Jacqueline Woods
?How long it take the water to run off???

Joan Mariano
?This wah deh yah fi like nearly a week. It start yesterday, from yesterday this done deh yah, so this noh wah go until next week Monday. All them days we have to walk through this.?

At this time all the residents want is for the rain to cease. Until then, they will try to do their best to stay dry. Jacqueline Woods for News Five.

If there is any silver lining to all the rain clouds over Belize it is that a good portion of the precipitation is helping to fill the reservoir behind the Chalillo Dam in Cayo. According to Stephen Usher, vice president of operations for BECOL, the water level began rising gradually on Sunday and they expect to see an even larger flow from the more recent rains. Exactly how much is difficult to predict as much of the heaviest rain is localised and falling downstream of Chalillo on the lower Macal River. At present, the reservoir at Chalillo is around fifty percent full.

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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