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Nov 9, 2020

Gracie Rock, Hattieville and Eight Miles Take on Floodwaters

As the waters head downstream, many families are still unable to leave their homes. In some communities along the Sibun River, the water reached as high as chest level. Some residents resorted to canoes to paddle to safer ground. Isani Cayetano was in the area today where water levels are so high, some parts are still impassable. Here is his report.  


Janine Burgess, Hattieville Resident

“That was the part, you know, nobody came or nobody called to check on us to find out what is our plan.  So we made our own plan.  I kept in communication with my family and they continued to check on us at the back here and few friends called to make sure that I am okay.”


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Nurse Janine Burgess is a resident of Hattieville.  She lives with her family not far from the dirt road that leads to the small riverside community of Freetown Sibun.  For the past few days, she has been trapped inside the house where it has proven difficult for her to negotiate the water that surrounds her property.


Janine Burgess

Janine Burgess

“It was kind of frightening at first because even though we got flood before it was never like this so it was kinda hard because I came home from work on Friday evening to meet the water already up a little and then when I got into my house, we were stranded there until like today.  So I finally had a chance that I could get out and go to the store to get water and stuff.”


The water in the vicinity of the nearby village, we understand, is at chest height in some places along the road and residents, we are told, had to access the community via dories.  The most recent flood forecast issued earlier today by the National Hydrological Service indicates that flood levels on the Sibun River which runs behind Hattieville are expected to continue to recede over the next few days.


Tennielle Williams-Hendy, Principal Hydrologist

“On the Sibun River, we have communities such as Gracie Rock, Hattieville, Eight Miles and even coming down into Belize City, [we’re] already seeing floodwaters.  So we’re asking that residents remain vigilant and that they move when they can.  We’ve started to see some trickling in but it’s still not at the peak stage where we can say this is the worst of the flood and it should level off now.  We haven’t seen that peak come into the city as yet.”


Isani Cayetano

“You had given us an approximate timeline when I spoke with you on Friday when I spoke with you, perhaps four to five days before we begin to experience those waters in our parts?”


Tennielle Williams-Hendy

“We can expect to see those flooding conditions prevail throughout this week.”


In the Eight Mile community, water began inundating a majority of streets and properties on Saturday at around two p.m.  Since then everywhere is covered by running water.  Residents in this area, like others elsewhere along the George Price Highway are well above their ankles getting in our out of their homes and all indications are that the floodwaters from the west aren’t entirely here yet.


Janine Burgess

“All we can do sir, is watch the water and if it continues to rise then we’ll have to move from this area.  We can only move ourselves because personal stuff you can’t really move from here.  So I guess maybe the village council or somebody will let us know where we can go or whatever help we could get.”


According to the Principal Hydrologist, very little will change in the days ahead in respect of the heavy floodwaters being anticipated.


Tennielle Williams-Hendy

“We should see not much change from the heavy floodwaters that we are expecting, but it will help in reducing the amount of floodwaters coming down.  It won‘t be significant, but it will help nonetheless.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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