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Oct 13, 2022

National Hydrological Service Update on Flooding along Belize’s River System

Flood waters flowing from the Mopan River are moving down stream faster than what has been recorded in previous flooding, according to the National Hydrological Service.  Principal Hydrologist Tennielle Hendy says that as recent as Wednesday, the hydrological station in Benque Viejo del Carmen recorded flood waters moving at very high velocities from neighboring Guatemala into Belize.  According to Hendy, the large magnitude of flood waters moving along Belize’s river system is leading to wide spread flooding. Here is how she explained it, when we spoke with her over the phone.


On the Phone: Tennielle Hendy, Principal Hydrologist

“What is happening is that the flow is very high at the head waters. By headwaters I am speaking in the Benque side. Visiting that area yesterday, we saw very high velocities starting way up by the Guatemala border as far as we could have seen, very high velocities, very turbulent and we are seeing that being extended throughout the river system. In connection with our observers on the river system, because we have physical persons who monitor the rivers for us and take our measurements, they report to the office that as far as Isabella Bank, coming down in to Bermudan Landing, Scotland Half Moon, we are seeing flood waters already reaching those areas. It is a bit quicker than what we normally see for this system than when we have such flood events. The magnitude of this flood, and I am speaking in regard to the flow, it is such high flow that it is causing what we call oxbows, so the flood waters are not taking the path of the river, it is creating its own path, or an additional path, because the channels have already been filled, it cannot take more water and its already spread out as far as its can. So it is creating a temporary branch of the river.”

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