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Nov 1, 2022

Sand Bags and Concrete Blocks Top Hurricane Shopping Lists

With several inches of rainfall expected across the country over the next forty-eight hours, many residents in Belize City are seeking to protect their property from floodwaters. Today, construction material suppliers were kept on their feet as the demand for concrete blocks, plywood, and sandbags skyrocketed. This is all in preparation for Tropical Storm Lisa’s impact. News Five’s Paul Lopez has the story.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

Belizeans are bracing for impact, as Tropical Storm Lisa barrels towards the country.


Ronald Gordon

Ronald Gordon, Chief Meteorologist

“As of six this morning it was centered near latitude sixteen point one degrees north, eighty one point one degrees west. That position puts it at four hundred and eighty miles just south of due east from Belize City.”


Since then, the storm has moved closer to Belize’s coast as it continues on a westward track at fifteen miles per hour. It is expected that the system will make landfall on Belize as a category one hurricane with sustained winds of up to seventy miles per hour. Lisa is expected to dump heavy rains across the country.


Ronald Gordon

“Rainfall will begin affecting the country’s outer bands from as early as tonight, into tomorrow morning, increasing during the day with outer bands becoming more prevalent, heavy thunderstorms, squally conditions, hurricane like conditions from late afternoon into the evening from these outer bands. Then the system will make landfall over southern Belize, near Dangriga and later in the night on Wednesday.”


Most residents in Belize City are taking no chances. Homes and business establishments were boarded up from as early as this morning. There was also a rush to purchase concrete blocks and sandbags. We stopped in at Rosado’s Construction Supplies on the George Price Highway.


Oscar Rosado

Oscar Rosado, Owner, Rosado’s Construction Supplies

“Everybody coming out they are hearing about the weather and mainly want sandbags because they are hearing about the water and from yesterday when we open eight o’clock we normally close at five, the guys didn’t even go home for lunch yesterday and we worked right through to seven. And today, it is going to be a long day.”

Residents in flood prone areas commonly place these sand bags at their entrances and exits to prevent flood waters from entering their homes. The concrete blocks are used to elevate furniture and kitchen appliances.   Progress Hardware on Vernon Street was out of concrete blocks before midday today due to high demand. They also faced a shortage of crocus bags and soon began asking customers to bring their own. Over at M. Leslie Block Factory on Western Avenue the situation was similar.


Ms. Leslie, Owner, M. Leslie Block Factory

“Weh happen everybody the try prepare fih mainly flood. They do worry about the wind but the flood water that it brings worry deh, because a lot of low house and people appliances and then deh furnitures on the floors. Deh try raising it, and majority of the time deh would ask for cement blocks fih elevate deh stuff and sand bags fih block the water.”


We found that these business owners were not only heeding the government’s call for vendors to desist from price gouging at this time, they were also reducing their prices where costumers were unable to afford the product.


Ms Leslie

“We leave it at the same price as normal, but we use with perspective and see who could afford for the same price as regular and if not we reduce it for some people because we know that everybody the try hold deh cash. We advice them too because we know that some people impulse buy and deh might buy twenty sack when deh only need ten and that money could go towards groceries.”


Oscar Rosado

“We know most of our people and some people come and if they don’t have enough you can come back later and give the rest. We take all that into consideration for our Belizean people. It is because of them our business is prosperous. And so, in times like these we have to reach out to our community and give back. It is not everything about money. It’s about saving lives, saving.”


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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