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Wet weather in the days and hours ahead

Forecasters are monitoring showery activity nationwide which has caused flooding in various parts of the central and southern parts of the country today. There are also reports of floodwaters as far north in the Orange Walk District. There is some flooding near the Billy Barquedier National Park on the Hummingbird Highway. We have also learned of flooding on the Hummingbird Highway in Valley Community and the villages of Silk Grass and Steadfast. Dale McDougall has been following the situation today and has this report. 

Dale McDougall, Love News: The eyes of the nation are watching with carefulness, caution and vigilance as the showers nationwide have resulted in flooding. Parts of the south, central and northern regions of Belize are underwater and the experts say while a reprieve is coming, those living near rivers ought to be careful. Forecaster Francisca Wellington of the National Met Service is optimistic that things will improve in the short-term.

Francisca Wellington, Forecaster, National Met Service: “It will be decreasing by Friday, I would say that. Currently, if we look at our radar we’ll be seeing that from Dangriga northwards we have widespread light rain and we also have some thunderstorms. The south currently is free of showers, from Dangriga southwards and for the next 24 hours we continue to see most of the activity over the northern areas, I should say for the next 6 hours, sorry about that. Then by tonight these will dissipate out and it will be concentrated over the southern districts. 

Dale McDougall, Love News: The National Hydrological Service is reporting that flooding is already affecting the south with the Manatee River and the Soldier Creek Bridge on the Coastal Highway is flooded. Principal Hydrologist, Tennielle Hendy explained there’s another region of the country that they are watching closely. 

Tennielle Hendy, Principal Hydrologist, National Hydrological Service: “So based on our analysis today, we saw that in region 13, which is mainly in the south, we have San Pedro Columbia on the Rio Grande. We have Jordan on the Mojo River and Crique Sarco on the Temash River. These rivers are exhibiting increasing water levels and it’s nearing the thresholds or have already become so close to the threshold that we cannot simply not say anything. As with any other system, you know, it’s a forecast and we need to use the actual data being collected to validate whether that potential is low, medium, or high potential and so in this case we are seeing a medium potential for a flash flood event on the Rio Grande.”

Dale McDougall, Love News: Hendy added that parts of the Belize District are also on a flood watch, including Sibun River at Freetown Sibun and Hattieville. 

Tennielle Hendy, Principal Hydrologist, National Hydrological Service: “For our flood watch, for the Sibun River, we’ve been noticing since the week began that they’re having increasing levels and so this level has reached your full bank stage or bankfull as we say. An so the levels are still increasing so with that we do expect flooding to actually occur at Sibun River and Sibun River, to bing it into context, it comes from the Maya Mountains all the way through the Hummingbird just south of Belmopan and it goes through until it comes out south of the deep water port. So our station is on the lower end of that system at Freetown Sibun. So Hattieville, Freetown Sibun, and nearby tributaries in that area should expect flooding conditions to exist.” 

Dale McDougall, Love News: And with the rains continuing, parts of Orange Walk District are also seeing localized flooding and here in the low-lying Belize City. Both the Meteorological and Hydrological Services advise residents to look out for updates. Reporting for Love News, I’m Dale McDougall