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Jul 23, 2021

Freak Thunderstorm in Cayo Feels Like Small Tornado: Dog Tossed into Another Yard

Yes we are in the rainy season, yes, we are in hurricane season. But tornados? This morning, some residents of Billy White in the Cayo District felt like they were in the middle of the Wizard of Oz, complete with a flying dog circling the house. News Five’s Paul Lopez surveyed the damage and spoke to those who took shelter from the unexpected storm – including a shaken, but otherwise okay puppy named “Blackie.”


Paul Lopez, Reporting

Today, three families in Billy White experienced a freak storm they were sure was a tornado.


Maverick Cano, Billy White Resident

“It got black, like dark one instantly. It went black. It was like a flash. Black and then it was just lighting up.”


Viviana Cano, Billy White Resident

“I just took a little peep outside my window, and I saw all the branches and leaves going up and I recognize it was a tornado.”


Around eight forty five this morning Maverick Cano woke up to the strong winds approaching his home. It sounded like a rumbling tractor.


Maverick Cano

Maverick Cano

“And then when it came closer, I woke up because my sister ran to my room saying my little dog had flown away. He flew away, he did almost like a three sixty around the house and flew almost to by my grandma’s house. And by that time, the tornado was already cracking the trees and everything from on top of us. And when I stood up I was tossed down by the wind.”


The strong winds tossed Maverick’s dog, Blackie, up to three hundred yards into a neighboring property. A relative, who was at a milpa located about a mile away, told them that he saw when the freak storm developed and began heading their way. It left its path uprooted trees, broken branches, fallen walls, and damaged roofs. Viviana Cano and her mom weathered the storm on the bedroom floor.


Viviana Cano

“I felt it was not going to end. I felt it was going and going and maybe it will not end soon.  I felt that the house was lifting up and it was shaking. It was shaking so hard and the windows banging so hard.”


Viviana Cano

Paul Lopez

“When it finally left, what did you come outside and meet, what did you see?”


Viviana Cano

“When I come outside I started to call my dad to come, because he was not here he was working in Belmopan. So I started to call him and I came to check what was happening outside and I just saw the roof was off and there were a lot of branches in the kitchen and all that.”


Finally, we spoke to a third neighbor who says he has lived in the area for over three decades, weathered hurricanes, but never once has his family had such an encounter with a storm of this nature.


Paulino Cano

Paulino Cano, Billy White Resident

“To me I think it started like somewhere in a valley or the bushes or somewhere and take a path this way. Because it damaged some parts of the house and close by there is a small chicken house and then that just stayed there like nothing happened. And then, it just turned around and the next side of the building lifts up a roof.”


Paul Lopez

“It seemed to have had a mind of its own, and going around, and hitting different spots.”


Paulino Cano

“Yes, to me that’s how it looks. I don’t think it’s a wide impact. I think it was like a whirlwind and going around crazy. And, I have never seen something like that before, but I guess some strange things happen.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.

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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