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Oct 11, 2022

Vendors Relocate to Safety as Water Rises in the Twin Towns

Many vendors and business owners had to pack up their appliances and products and relocate to higher ground in an effort to minimize the damages associated with the flood. In this report from News Five’s Duane Moody, within a short period of doing interviews in downtown San Ignacio with business owners, the flood water entered into their establishments. Here’s that report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

These were the images captured back in early November 2020 when the remnants of Hurricane Eta dumped water on western Belize. Flood waters rose by almost ten feet to submerge the Cayo Welcome Center in downtown San Ignacio.  From above, only the rooftops could have been seen.  There were huge losses recorded by the private sector in the wake of the floods and so this time around, businesses owners in that vicinity, including market vendors, took no chances. They were quick to pack up their stuff and seek higher ground.


Sylvan Rodas, Bella’s Delight

“Right now we are just trying to clear out the shops. I think everybody down here at the market side have been trying to clear out the shops. We are just trying to take out all of our stuff because as you can see the water is closely rising. If we wait until another two hours or hour, our shops may be covered like what happened two years ago. We could already see it by our doorstep so we have to take out everything. Everything right now from here and my uncle’s shop, the tour guide place.”


Sylvan Rodas

Duane Moody

“Could you speak to me about the loss you guys experienced last time this happened?”


Sylvan Rodas

“Inside we had to paint everything over. We lost the AC. We weren’t able to get everything out in time. We only managed to get out the showcase, we managed to get out the smaller things, but we weren’t able to get out the bigger things. So we had to purchase new AC, new fridge cause once it gets soak with water, we can’t do anything.”


To give an idea of how quickly the water rose, when we commenced the interview with Sylvan Rodas, there was little to no water on the street. Five minutes later, the street was completely inundated. While some market vendors secured their booths and called it a day, some relocated to the Falcon Field across from the town hall. Mayor Earl Trapp says that it is a temporary space for the vendors.


Earl Trapp, Mayor, San Ignacio/Santa Elena

“We have already advised the market vendors to relocate and you saw them relocated to the Falcon Field because we saw the river rapidly rising this morning. And of course with the intense rain and you know the storm is coming from the south, so we are still anticipating that we will get a lot of water from that side. And then it is raining in Guatemala; Guatemala has a big impact on that as well, so I am sure we are expecting the waters from Guatemala to recede in this area.”


While the flood water has since receded from inside the shops and the market, business owners are trying to clean up and return to normal business. Even ahead of today, however, Rodas expresses concerns about recovering.


Sylvan Rodas

“It’s costly and there is nothing set in place for businesses after this. The government will just tell us, oh well you guys have to get back up on your feet, but there is no help for the businesses out here. No one will come and say, you know what, here’s five thousand dollars just for your damages. No one will help us. We just have to do it on our own.”


Earl Trapp

Earl Trapp

“It’s minimal that the council can do at this time. If there is any loss in terms of goods, then I believe that NEMO will have to step in and see what are their losses and see how they can assist. But that will be more something for NEMO to assess and see what budget they have and how they can assist.”


Duane Moody 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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