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Jun 21, 2022

NEMO Remains on Standby for More Flooding Across the Country

The weather today has been considerably better than the inclement conditions that were experienced across the country over the weekend.  While we enjoyed several hours of sunlight in Belize City, in other parts such as Carmelita and Santa Martha, residents are still recovering from the deluge that brought havoc to their communities.  It is forecasted that there will be additional rains in the days ahead and the National Emergency Management Organization is closely monitoring the situation.  In northern Belize District, NEMO is preparing for the likelihood of flooding, once waters from the western part of the country make their way into the Belize River Valley.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano headed to Crooked Tree this morning and filed the following report.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The fast and powerful rush beneath the Crooked Tree causeway is a steady flow, as water from the recently inundated stretch of road continues to recede.  Over the weekend, incessant rains submerged the raised path.  It is expected that in the days ahead, it will be covered as the Crooked Tree Lagoon swells.


Lionel Smith

Lionel Smith, District NEMO Coordinator

“We all know the water bodies in Belize are interconnected, so we are anticipating that this lagoon right behind us here, might definitely, we might see a rise in the water level.”


For now, the road that leads to the village is passable.  When the rains come, getting in and out of the community becomes a challenge.  The National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO, is keeping a close eye on what’s happening in northern Belize District.


Lionel Smith

“We know that water does move with force, so we ask people, as they monitor the situation, to move to higher ground and secure their personal belongings, move your animals to higher grounds and stuff like that, basically.”


That warning comes hard on the heels of a flooding event in Orange Walk District that drenched several communities, including Carmelita.  Those waters are coming down and will eventually find their way into the Crooked Tree Lagoon.


Ronald Gordon

Ronald Gordon, Chief Meteorological Officer

“The ground is already saturated, there has been intense rainfall and upwards of ten inches in some locations and there is likely to be more rainfall with the models indicating about two to three inches daily and locally higher amounts because the models sometimes are conservative in their forecasts.  So we need to take into consideration that what we see on the models may not be what actually occurs.  There could be higher amounts and those rainfalls are likely to lead to some more flooding in that area.”


In northern Belize District, NEMO’s efforts are being coordinated by Lionel Smith.


Lionel Smith

“We know that the bulk of the water body comes from out west, so we definitely place emphasis on that area, in terms of the Belize River and the Spanish Creek River in the Rancho Dolores area, for instance.  The Met Service, so far, has forecasted something around three hundred and twenty millimeters of rain, up to twelve point six inches and that is for the Belize District alone, for the month of June.”


It’s a significant amount of rainfall to be estimated.  Notwithstanding what is taking place in Belize, NEMO is also observing what is taking place in neighboring Guatemala.  The Mopan River which traverses both countries, joins the Macal River in Cayo District to form the Belize River.


Shelton Defour

Shelton Defour, National Coordinator, NEMO

“In terms of Cayo, where you have rain in the hills of Guatemala which we are monitoring right now in terms of rainfall amounts in the Mopan River in Guatemala to anticipate the downstream flow into Belize.  And then that means that the knock-on effect is flooding in Belize River Valley because it means that water in the high ground in the west moves due east into the Belize River Valley.”


Isani Cayetano For News Five

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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