The old capital, Belize City saw several homes evacuated late last night and early this morning. With the heavy rains over the course of the night NEMO officials and some political standard bearers were called out just before midnight to open shelters. Love FM’s Armin Arana drove around the city this morning to see how impacted the south side areas were.
Armin Arana, Love FM News: We have made our way to the George Price Highway here in Belize City right next to the Lord Ridge Cemetery where you can see behind me the road here near the Melisha Hall here on the George Price Highway is flooded across the street.”
Armin Arana, Love FM News: “We have made our way to the Jane Usher Boulevard area and specifically the street you’re watching behind me is Manowar Street we were made to understand and as you can see Manowar Street is definitely flooded from one side over to the next and just a few minutes ago we had a chance to speak to one of the residents here on Manowar Street here they did not want to go on camera but they’re telling us that it is flooded all the way inside their yard.”
Deputy Mayor Michael Norales spoke with our news team on their activated plan and the opening of shelters in Belize City.
Deputy Mayor Michael Norales, Belize City Council: “The Belize City council had been on high alert since Sunday but beginning Monday morning we started clearing out outlets in the city because we were expecting a lot of water as we were advised by NEMO and the MET Service. So we had the sanitation department, the drain department actually, doing a lot of remedial work because we’ve been doing this since before the Hurricane Season started but specifically of late we’ve been dealing with the low lying areas going there to see more or less how these people are coping with the water. We also had the data analysis team to see more or less what we could do to help the people in most of the low lying areas; we had an emergency meeting with the committees. So out of that emergency meeting we came up with the idea that the EOC will be open and then the following committees will have been activated. We have the Education and Information Committee, Housing and Shelter, Relief and Supplies, Human Resources and the Transportation Committee. Now when it comes to evacuating your homes for right now it’s on a voluntary basis. I will announce and later on you will get to understand that shelters will be opened at two this afternoon that’s when we’ll be having our CEMO personnel there. I’m just about to list the shelters that will be opened as of two today: Unity Presbyterian, this is on Antelope Street Extension. St.John’s Vianney, we have All Saints and we have St.Luke Methodist School on Mahogany Street so those are the four shelters that will be manned. Those are the official shelters that have been approved by NEMO and CEMO and people from those low lying areas could go there.”
Some ten miles north of Belize City, portions of the George Price Highway are covered with water. This is particularly in Ladyville just past the airport junction. Armin Arana visited the area to see what the residents are facing.
Armin Arana, Love FM News: Ladyville right past the airport junction here in Ladyville a lot of water on the Philip Goldson Highway and we are gonna try to do our best to make it through so that the folks that will be travelling especially those that will be heading home from work a little later on today this is what you’ll be dealing with here in the Ladyville area heading north. If you’re heading north this evening from work passing through the Ladyville area this is what you’ll be dealing with a lot of water pass the Philip Goldson Highway junction as you reach that point heading into Ladyville you will meet water. So if you’re in a truck you’ll be able to pass but if you’re in a small vehicle I would not recommend that you come through this in a small vehicle.”
Further north is the residential community, Los Lagos. Several homes have taken in water including the residence of Manuel Lizarraga who cited the drainage situation as a challenge.
Armin Arana, Love FM News: “In our background some of the residents here in Los Lagos they are dealing with a lot of water and flooding. I’m speaking with Mr.Manuel Lizarraga. I notice that the water is right at the top of the step almost going inside your home who are you guys dealing with the rain and the flood ?
Manuel Lizarraga, Resident: :Well it’s unprecedented because it’s the first time the water has reached such a height but I think our dilemma is the water has to go out and lot of houses have been flooded, my friend has about six to eight inches in his house and we didn’t expect it but the water has risen so fast so we have to deal with it.
Armin Arana, Love FM News: “I know it’s rained before, we’ve had torrential rains before but according to you you’ve never seen that amount of rain or the water so high in your yard.
Manuel Lizarraga, Resident: “Not in six years. We had a storm that passed through and we had maybe about six inches below but a lot of our friends, a lot of people from our neighborhood are under water right now.”
Armin Arana, Love FM News: I noticed coming into Los Lagos that a lot of the homes in the front are flooded but when you go more to the bank it’s not as bad as in the front.
Manuel Lizarraga, Resident: “I think that’s attributed to the drainage, we don’t have enough drainage and that’s something that the community leaders have to address and that’s what we’re faced with right now.“