Following the rains yesterday and today, parts of Belize City remain affected by flood waters. CEMO advised that there is a flood watch in effect for the entire country but a decrease in rainfall is expected this evening. Residents are urged to be quote “vigilant of their surroundings” End quote. Today at an event, the media caught up with Mayor Bernard Wagner, who responded to questions about the current state of the drainage system. Oftentimes, the flooding in the city becomes worse because drains are clogged and have not been maintained well. The Mayor said that the drains in the Old Capital are in good shape and are constantly attended to.
Bernard Wagner, Mayor, Belize City: “Rainfall is global and if you visit many of the cities, many of the countries in the region globally you will find out that whenever there are excessive rains given climate change, the impacts of climate change here is this tendency for flooding. Belize City is not immune to it. We didn’t even have a dry season per se this year and so the ground is really inundated already and so what you saw this morning with the flooding is an effect of not having a dry season. We went direct from January. It has been raining and the rainy season started actually in May. And so our drainage system continues to hold up. I believe that once you see the rain subsiding. You see the water turn off quickly. Obviously there’s more work to be done. We’ll be working along in the Gungulung Area with that canal. We are supposed to dredge that area in that canal but we have just not been able to get the long dry season or some break in the weather patterns and the rain patterns so as to get to those works. Our drains are cleared. Our drains are shaped prior to the hurricane season. We have a very robust City Emergency Management Team that we consult with on a regular basis. Prior to the season we would normally shape all those drains, dig them out, get them connected from the drains into the canals, the canals to the rivers and from the rivers into the sea. So that area we are working on. Clearly there are some areas that require constant shaping and so we are up to it.”