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Sep 3, 2020

Hurricane Nana Blows over Belize City ‘Like Wah Lee Breeze’

While Tropical Storm Nana was predicted to make landfall anywhere along the coast between Belize City and Punta Gorda – most city residents bunkered down and activated their hurricane plans in preparation for the worse. But, thankfully, the old capital only received some strong winds and some rains – and there are no casualties or significant damage reported.  It was, from all accounts, an uneventful night for Belize City. Here’s a look at how that went.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

After four or five in the evening – the skies in Belize City darkened – and it began to rain off and on – with the showers turning into a drizzle by the time Hurricane Nana made landfall at midnight in southern Belize. The winds picked up across the city late in the evening with intermittent higher gusts as the night approached – and there was sustained winds straight through to the early hours of this morning. Meteorologist Shanea Young gives us a report for Belize City and wider Belize District.

 

Shanea Young

Shanea Young, Meteorologist

“In terms of rainfall in the Belize City area, less than an inch of rainfall occurred based on where we have our automatic weather station. In the Hattieville region, just above, an inch occurred. And in terms of wind speed at the airport.   We were recording gusts of around thirty-two knots which is around thirty-seven miles per hour winds here at the airport and also in Belize City actually. But I will need to verify the exact numbers but it was around thirty-five to forty miles per hour winds in the Belize City area. From the reports that we got the winds were off and on with gusty conditions even though rainfall in the Belize City area was not as much as compared to the southern portions of the country.”

 

By eight o’clock the waves were crashing – along the sea wall on Marine Parade but they didn’t appear to spill onto the street. At this time the National Met Service is still assessing storm surges to present an official report. Our cameras were out in the city around nine but by that time people were already in their homes – the streets were empty. Twelve shelters were opened in the city – at four in the evening – by eleven on Wednesday night there were three hundred and forty-four persons in shelter. In those shelters, according to Councilor Michael Noralez, there were hand washing stations and personnel to ensure that COVID-19 protocols were adhered to.

 

Michael Noralez

Michael Noralez, Councilor Responsible for CEMO

“So you walk in, your temperature is taken and you do your wash hand and use your hand sanitizer and you are registered and then you are assigned an area within the shelter and if you come in with any kind of sign  of COVID , a cough or something – you will be directed to a different area where you will rest and somebody will be there to ensure you don’t move and somebody will call the medical authorities to deal with you so all the protocols for COVID-19 will be in place.”

 

Our camera team was back out around the city early this morning – where the skies appear bright and clear – a sign that rain and winds from hurricane Nana had passed over this part of the country. And by mid-morning the all clear flag was hoisted to show that the system was no longer over Belize.  And so this morning – it was back to business for most in Belize City – but several businesses across the city were closed for the day – including gas stations; banks; hardware and some grocery stores. There was no casualty in Belize City or the wider Belize District. We haven’t received any reports of damage to infrastructure or other property in Belize City. The CEMO team is compiling its final assessment report. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.


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