Mayor Wagner speaks on Hurricane Lisa’s lessons
Hurricane Lisa’s rampage of the Belize District has undoubtedly left a mark on many residents. By all accounts, the storm’s impact surpassed the expectations of many including the Belize City Mayor, Bernard Wagner. According to Wagner, the hurricane has led the City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO) to revamp its emergency response plan. Here’s how Wagner explained the lessons learned from Hurricane Lisa.
Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “Each hurricane, storm, disaster have it’s own way and form and so each and every day you learn. Yourself, myself is learning each and every day and what Hurricane Lisa taught us is that the storms are getting stronger. So the category 1 storm that may have been a category one storm back then can now be a category 2 based on the strength and the ferocity of the wind and we felt the wind throughout in this building where this is an operating center for Belize City and this building is supposed to withstand up to a category three but we took a licking at a category 1 so we have to go back to the drawing board now and see how the design of this building has to be retrofitted to meet the standards of an emergency operating center. Civic Center is the operating center designated for a category 4 or category 5 and you see some of the damages that took. Right here we took damage. We took water damage not only on the ground floor but on this same third floor level so we have to begin, and I’m speaking with my city planner and our planning unit to look at how we best we can redesign some of the building structure to really have it be a safe space for an operating center during a catastrophic event.”