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Nov 18, 2020

Central and Southern Belize Brace for Flooding!

The National Emergency Management Organization is advising the public to be on the lookout for the possibility of flooding in some areas in the country.  While the remnants of Hurricane Iota continue to move away, the system is expected to bring some rainfall for the country that may see flooding in low lying communities, as well as those near bodies of water.  A release from NEMO and the Hydrology Unit says that additional rainfall is expected on Thursday with the highest amounts in the central and southern areas of the country. Today we spoke with the Hydrology Unit, as well as NEMO and CEMO. Here’s what they have to say.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

A flood warning is in effect for a number of regions across the country, as well as a flood watch for several downstream communities on the Rio Hondo; and a flash flood warning for southern communities in the wake of Hurricane Iota.


On the Phone: Tennielle Williams-Hendy, Principal Hydrologist 

“We issued our flood forecast today with a flood warning in effect  for rivers and streams, waterways in central, western and southern Belize, including San Ignacio, Benque, Banana Bank, Double Run, Crooked Tree, Belize River Valley, the surrounding communities and downstream to the coast which is Belize City. We also have a flood watch in effect for communities downstream on the Rio Hondo as well as a flash flood warning for rivers also in the south of the country.”


Andrea Polanco

“So, for persons living in these areas, they must heed caution to these advisories?”


On the Phone: Tennielle Williams-Hendy

“Yes, they should. Actually, we have a flood warning in effect for all those rivers and streams and waterways in the western, central and southern parts of the country so they should monitor these systems and if they are living close to them and observing their behavior over the past couple weeks, they know that they can come in a quick second and they can be gone in a quick second. So, they definitely need to remain vigilant and monitor these systems and move whenever they are given warnings.”


Increasing rainfall is expected as a result of the system. Up to six inches of rainfall were recorded across the country and this is causing rivers to swell and to threaten some communities with flooding – particularly in the central and southern parts of the country. CEMO’s Kenton Parham says they are in a state of readiness for the possibility of flooding in Toledo.


Kenton Parham

On the Phone: Kenton Parham, Southern Regional Coordinator, NEMO

“We have contacted all our community leaders and the village emergency people in these communities and our river monitors are monitoring rivers in these areas and reporting to us as per normal. NEMO is on standby ready to respond to any flooding incident. We are prepared to open shelters if that need arises in these areas. We are just monitoring the system and the communities and the rivers and we are in a state of readiness for this one.”


In Belize City, the City Emergency Management Organization is closely monitoring the situation. They anticipate that low-lying areas across the city may be inundated with water and so they are stepping up activities to mitigate the impact of the flood on these communities.


Melony Dawson

Melony Dawson, Liaison Officer, CEMO

“We have areas such as the Gungulung area; crewman lagoon which the Collet area; Jane Usher and also Belama. Those areas are also the flood prone areas, so from the time Eta had passed, the City Council has been working day and night tirelessly throughout weeks since Eta had passed. So, the work that we are doing right now is to clear out all the drains; the backhoe has been out day and night and we have been clearing out garbage that have been clogging up these drains; clay and sand that people have on the side. So, the work is continuous.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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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