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Nov 16, 2020

Floodwaters Continue to Inundate Crooked Tree Village

Tonight, there is water everywhere in rural Belize District and the Crooked Tree causeway is impassable.  Residents leave or enter the village with the assistance of the Belize Coast Guard as the village is experiencing one of the worst floods. And to compound the issue, it will take months for the situation to improve.  The fear is that the dangerous hurricane Iota will cause further flooding in the drenched community.  Here is News Five’s Isani Cayetano with a report.  


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Residents of Crooked Tree are having a difficult time entering and leaving the village, as floodwaters continue to inundate the causeway that provides access to the community.  The raised path that abuts the Crooked Tree Lagoon is submerged, rendering it impassable.  To get out or get in, one has to catch a ride on a coast guard vessel that traverses these waters on scheduled runs.


Marvin Crawford

Marvin Crawford, Vice Chairman, Crooked Tree Village

“Each and every day we have to use boats and right now we are trying to get some skid to build a causeway so we could take the people from one point to the other.”


It is an inconvenience that commuters will have to live with for the next few months.  On the outskirts of Crooked Tree vehicles are lined up on the side of the road and the only way in is by water.


Marvin Crawford

“We have the coast guard in our village and they are doing a pretty good job and we thank God for them, you know, because they took the people from one point to the other every so often, in the morning and even during the night they are out here trying to help.  So we really appreciate the help from the coast guard and we are getting some other help from different organizations.”


Isani Cayetano

“How has this flooding situation affected the everyday lives of Crooked Tree people in terms of doing business and being able to move around freely and that sort of stuff?”


Marvin Crawford

“Well at this moment, I would say this situation is affecting each and everyone because it is hard for us to move from one point to the other.”


The situation is dire.  On one hand, the drowned land bridge had been scheduled for rehabilitation under the previous government.  Twelve years have gone by and they never got around to it.  On the other hand, there are areas within the village that are low-lying and as such are also taking in water.


Marvin Crawford

“We have, I would say, too much water right now.  All over the village, the village is just sectioned off with, you know, water.  We only could get from one point to the other so we are trying to see how we could help the residents to move from one point to the other and that’s why we are over here right now trying to get some palettes.  You know, the people from Belize, they are donating some palettes to us and we are trying to get them so we could build something to help the people, to get them out of the water.”


A generous donation of wooden palettes has been sent to the village where there are several locations along the road that are under water.  It is the council’s hope that more businesses would donate the pieces of lumber so that walkways can be constructed.


Marvin Crawford

“It is a bit impossible in the village to move around even by vehicle, so we are trying our best to see how we could get the people comfortable during this time because we know that this situation will probably be with us until January.”


Isani Cayetano

“Now I gather [that] you’ve been a resident of Crooked Tree either all your life…  Has this been the worst you’ve seen it?”


Marvin Crawford

“No, not as yet.  We’ve had worst than this before but I believe that the other weather that is out there should come this way, it would probably be worse than all the other ones.”


Residents fear that the deluge from Tropical Storm Eta that has essentially cut off Crooked Tree from the rest of the country will only get worse should Tropical Storm Iota also dump water in the western and central parts of the country. 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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