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Nov 3, 2022

Déjà Vu – Vista del Mar Affected by Storm Surge Again

The devastation is not limited to Belize City; it also extends through the central corridor of the country. Rural Belize District also got the brunt of the storm, in terms of winds.  In some areas, water levels rose dangerously high into homes. In the Vista del Mar community in Ladyville, water rose about six feet into homes, destroying everything in its path. It was reminiscent of the impacts of Hurricane Earl back in 2016, where the storm surge washed away vehicles and wrecked homes. There was devastation from the surge, only this time, the water receded within three hours and residents were more prepared – mentally and physically – for the eventuality. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

As early as six p.m. on Wednesday, as Hurricane Lisa made its way through Belize, water levels began rising in the Vista del Mar community. The watermarks on the walls of homes, along the various streets, are telltale signs of how high the storm surge came, bringing with it sludge and debris.


Bernard Bennett, Chairman, Ladyville Village Council

Bernard Bennett

“The surge came up to about six feet and then quickly about by nine-thirty ten when I did a quick circle the water had receded a lot. And then this morning when we woke up, basically it was gone. So that is the norm of a hurricane with that hurricane surge. So we always like to stress with residents who live along the seashore, especially that Vista del Mar area in Ladyville, don’t stay there; try to move out from that area.”


Today, residents were clearing out fallen trees from their yards and sunning their furniture. In some instances, discarding damaged household appliances and removing water still inside their homes in an effort to return to some form of normalcy.


Ian Ferrera

Ian Ferrera, Resident, Vista Del Mar

“When we came, it was mud, about two to three inches of water still left in the house. Fridge topple over, stove topple over, TVs, everything was floating on inches of water.”


Duane Moody

“It shows that water come right up to below the window?”


Ian Ferrera

“Yap, as you can see the water marks are still there. Most of the water went through the window; this house was halfway covered in water.”


Ian Ferrera and his family did not weather the storm at home, but instead secured their property as best as they possibly could and stayed with relatives in the city. Having experienced the surge by Hurricane Earl in 2016, which was also a category one storm, Lindon Simmons Senior, like Ferrera, packed up his family, removed large household items and left hours before the storm hit.


Lindon Simmons Sr.

Lindon Simmons Sr., Resident, Vista del Mar

“Not this time, we are not weathering it here. I am just doing the final touch up right now. I already have my vehicle packed; most of my vehicles already went to a higher ground. I own cycles as well. The last time I lose a lot, two cycles and a vehicle, so this time I decided to take everybody. So we are going to higher grounds in the next hour or so. When that weather came this whole side of the street really flood that water went as far as my window sill you see there. I wasn’t at home and my wife was here and we had young boys; the little boy right there, he was still baby at that time. He was baby and what we had to do when the water was coming into the house and the refridge and the stove and the sofa start to float around, then the only option was try to get to higher ground.”


But even with residents boarding up their windows and putting in infrastructure to mitigate the impacts of the storm, they were not spared. It’s the second experience in six years for Aaron Wilson and his family.


Aaron Wilson, Resident, Vista del Mar

Aaron Wilson

“Similar thing happen mien. All ah we get flood out back yah. Bed, stove, sofa, everything we loss. Water mi deh way up to mi waist ina di middle of the house, like how we got the drop. So similar situation – lose everything again. Like how we raise this dah front yah, we mi expect that the water never mi wah come, but the water start way dah di level right there, out yah mi look like sea again. Everybody from dah back soh bring dehn car pan di main out yah come park so that they save it, but still some vehicle mi stay under water out yah pan the boulevard.”


An initial assessment shows that there were damages to homes, debris strewn across the streets and power lines and lampposts down.


Bernard Bennett

“A lot of fallen power lines, a lot of fallen trees, lot of roofs were blown off of people’s homes. This morning I put together a team of men with chainsaws and we started to clear the main roads that were blocked off with a number of trees and debris. We want to go in and help neighbours who might not be able and have the means to clear their trees and stuff, like senior citizens who will definitely need that help. So we will continue to do the assessment. NEMO will be going out sometime this afternoon to go around the entire community to assess the damages and then from there, we will see how quickly we could assist the residents who have the damages.”


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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