Hydrologists Warn of Flood Risks in Low-Lying Areas as Beryl Approaches

Hydrologists Warn of Flood Risks in Low-Lying Areas as Beryl Approaches

As the sugar cane mill activates is preparation plans for Beryl, hydrology experts is advising those in low lying areas to prepare for a high chance of flooding.  Tonight, there is still some uncertainty as to whether Hurricane Beryl is on a path direct to Belize or if it would shift further north.  Whatever shift it does take, authorities are saying that flooding in the north is a certainty this weekend. The National Metrological Service says the system will bring excessive rains, particularly in the north but other parts of the countries will also be affected.  The showers, coupled with saturated soil, are anticipated to cause flooding in parts of the Belize, Orange Walk, and Corozal Districts. While the amount of rainfall and its intensity are unknown, Principal Hydrologist Tennielle Hendy explained that portions of the country will experience flash floods.

Tennielle Hendy, Principal Hydrologist: “We’re not seeing any riverine flooding, which is different from precipitation related flooding but there is the possibility that we do get riverine flooding from our neighbors, Guatemala and Mexico having floods as we’ve seen with Chetumal. The same time Chetumal was flooding Belize in the north was also flooding. But more recently, the flooding that we’re seeing in San Roman, San Pedro up in the north, Progresso it’s based on excessive rainfall. And so that is termed urban flooding. With any additional rainfall that we can get, I would say with a minimum of six inches more we can see a combination of excessive rainfall coupled with riverine flooding. And so you might be saying, well you’re using a lot of words what does this mean? It just means you will have flooding conditions for longer periods. Because what we call localized flooding from excessive rainfall, that water eventually runs off into the rivers. But if the rivers are full, where is it going to go? And then we also have to factor in tidal events. When there is a high tide, the water basically remains stagnant or it starts to fan out or spread out and in areas that are not prone to flooding before they now become flooded. So there are a lot of factors that we need to consider in terms of flooding and that’s why we work very closely with the Met Service and with NEMO and ourselves we have to monitor the models as well that the Met Service uses for our flood forecast.”

Compounding the incoming rains are the downpours experienced this past weekend from Invest 94L.  According to Hendy, the weather system’s impact on rivers in the north will be seen as showers approach this weekend.

Tennielle Hendy, Principal Hydrologist: “Now the entire north and part of central Belize the soil moisture is very saturated. So there’s not a lot of room to play for any waters to infiltrate through the soils. They’re at capacity, they’ve taken all that they can take. And so what happens is that turns into runoff, it leads into flooding and eventually goes to the river. So we have to be monitoring soil moisture, precipitation levels, tidal levels, flooding coming from neighboring countries and it’s a very unique complex. I like to say these algebraic and calculus equations that we took in high school or in UB and we said what are we going to do with this? This is what we have to do with them. We have to look at all the factors and try to factor out the main ones to make a best decision or best forecast for the populace.”

Hendy added that the river ways in the north may become flooded and affect the Crooked Tree Lagoon. 

Related post

Outrage in Roaring Creek: Police Hunt for Group After Elderly Man’s Hair Set on Fire

Outrage in Roaring Creek: Police Hunt for Group After…

Tonight, several people from Roaring Creek Village are wanted by police after a video surfaced of them lighting an elderly man’s…
Accused Child Abuser and Former Church Leader Mervin Budram Returns to Court

Accused Child Abuser and Former Church Leader Mervin Budram…

Accused child abuser Mervin Budram, a former church leader, returned to the courthouse this morning in Belmopan. Last year, after several…
Convicted Murderer William ‘Danny’ Mason Back in Court for Kidnapping Case

Convicted Murderer William ‘Danny’ Mason Back in Court for…

And what case could have kept the DPP from appearing in the Budram case? Well, today, convicted murderer William ‘Danny’ Mason…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *