Invest 91L is the name given to a weather system that is expected to bring a lot of rain over Belize this weekend. There is so much downpour expected that it has prompted the City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO) and the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) to have their volunteers across the country on standby. Michael Norales, the Belize City Councillor in Charge of CEMO and Al Westby, NEMO’s Central Regional Coordinator advise residents to brace for a wet weekend.
Michael Norales, Councillor in Charge of CEMO: “This should break itself up North passing just north of Belize City but we got to understand that it will be a rainmaker so our job this afternoon is to make sure that we make the proper advisory especially to those who live in flood prone areas. In the North and in the Belize District as well.
Jose Sanchez: Are there specific flood prone areas that you are looking at that you are telling people to be more careful?
Al Westby NEMO Central Regional Coordinator: “Okay knowing the systems, how Nemo operates we look at an overall picture. A system can shift anytime so we prefer the whole country to be prepared than to be sorry. Each District Coordinator and each community identifies their flood prone areas within their communities, within their districts and those are the low lying areas by the city. CEMO knows exactly in LakeI or where, Orange Street. We look at if necessary we would have to go and help them, in the districts it’s the same thing, in Belize River Valley I could call on the coordinator out there. Actually they are already sending reports with each low lying area and which area is prone to flooding. Not only that what they did today during the day, they contact all their river monitors, we have river monitors throughout the whole country. They contact them and let them know that this is happening and let them know that they will be communicating with them throughout the night or the weekend needs be if the rain continues.
Michael Norales, Councillor in Charge of CEMO: At 3 o’clock we got an advisory and they are telling us it should happen sometime over the weekend and we are already at the weekend and then to Sunday when the rain should be falling constantly.
Al Westby NEMO Central Regional Coordinator: 1 to 2 inches of rain per day for the next few days.
Jose Sanchez: The areas of the city that are flood prone?
Michael Norales, Councillor in Charge of CEMO: That is what I am coming to. The areas of the city that will be flooded are : Belama Phases 3 and 4 definitely. We have the Krooman Lagoon area behind Lake Independence, very flood prone and Jane Usher Blvd. area and certain parts of Faber’s Rd. and Antelope St. extension and we are not here to frighten anybody or to get you all jittery or something like that. We are here to advise you, just listen to the different advisories that we will be getting through the media. Be keen, be ready to move if your yard becomes flooded.
Westby and Norales say shelters will be open if needed. If residents would need assistance during the weekend torrents, they can call 670-7942.