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Jul 2, 2008

Forecasters predict another tropical wave heading our way

Story PictureOn Tuesday night residents in southern Belize prepared for a tropical wave which was expected to cause a rise in the already flooded rivers in the south. But tonight word from the Met Office is that the wave was not as bad as anticipated.

Ramon Frutos, Acting Chief Meteorologist
“The rainfall has been decreasing during last night and this morning. However, over certain areas of extreme southern Belize and northern Belize, we did get at least an inch of rainfall last night and the models were projecting another inch of rainfall before this is all over tonight. So we’re still getting showers around the country, quite a lot of showers especially inland this afternoon with the heating and we can still get at least another inch of rainfall before this is all over.”

Rudolph Williams, Hydrologist, National Meteorological Service
“We did not have any significant amount of flooding that occurred. In the south the rivers in Temash and Sarstoon remain at flood stage and they are steady now. We expect that they will soon start to recede and in the Rio Grande and the Golden Stream, these rivers are now receding at this time. The Sittee and the North Stann Creek are slightly above normal however, are below causeway level and no floods on the North Stann Creek at this time.”

Marion Ali
“I know that some people had to be evacuated from their homes in deep south. When do you think these people can return to their homes?”

Rudolph Williams
“Well, at this time we expect that the Temash will continue to recede slowly so we do not expect that it will go back to normal levels within the next two to three days.”

On Monday, seven families had to be evacuated from Crique Sarco as floodwaters cutoff the access roads to that village and four others. Tonight Director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, Greg Choc, told News Five that while the waters have receded in Crique Sarco, it is still above normal. Choc says vehicular traffic is moving and public transportation was available in the village this morning. But because the flooring of many of the homes are mud, residents will continue to stay with relatives until conditions in their houses improve enough for them to return.

But tonight that good news is tainted with some not so good news as Frutos says more bad weather is heading our way just as things are starting to get back to normal.

Ramon Frutos
“We have another tropical wave that currently is entering the eastern part of the Caribbean and that tropical wave will be knocking at our doors by Saturday morning and that will cause an increase in showers once again. So we’ll see an increase in showers of about two or three inches on Saturday and Saturday night and then showers will begin to die off again later on Sunday and on Monday.”

“The landscape and the rivers are already saturated with water and so with more rainfall coming this weekend it’s possible that we could see water levels rising once again so we should continue to monitor the conditions around the country for Saturday and Sunday. This morning we also had this hydromet bulletin number thirteen that we released early this morning and we were also indicating in that bulletin the situation out in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean where we have a very active tropical wave moving away from the coast of Africa and entering the eastern Atlantic Ocean where it is expected to develop into a depression probably later today or tomorrow. It has an area of low pressure already associated with it and a large area of convection around the centre and as that system continues to move westwards it will move into favourable atmospheric and oceanic conditions for it to develop and it’s likely that we will have a tropical depression on our hands before the weekend.”

Marion Ali
“We as in Belize?”

Ramon Frutos
“Well I mean we in the tropical Atlantic ocean, right? It’s very, very far away, at least two weeks away or a week and a half away but what is happening is that the forecast model tracks for this particular system, two thirds of them are indicating that the system will veer to the northwest and eventually into the north central Atlantic. However, a couple of the forecast models are indicating that it will move westwards, so we need to continue to monitor it over the weekend.”

Rudolph Williams
“We’re expecting some more rainfall. However, if the rainfall is concentrated on the southern areas then you can expect the Temash and the Sarstoon and all of them to start to rise again. The rainfall does look to me to be of significant amount at this time. However, it’s a little early in the week to say what is going to happen on Saturday and Sunday. However, we believe that if we get a significant amount of rainfall the people on the Sarstoon, Temash, and the Moho will not be able to return to their normal way of living.”

Marion Ali

Rudolph Williams
“Like I said, the rivers recede slowly and it will take probably another two or three days before they can return after the rain stopped.”

Marion Ali
“So people who have packed up and left everything in boxes, they should keep them that way?”

Rudolph Williams
“I would suggest that they stay abreast of the situation. In the south I would not advise to take anything out right now. In the central part of the country I guess it’s time to try to prepare to go back to normal and stay vigilant and listen to the reports. Flash floods are fast acting things and so please stay abreast and listen to the reports from the weather service and the instructions from NEMO.”

Williams says while the rivers and streams in southern Belize will rise over the weekend, he does not expect that flash floods will occur.

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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