Features — 01 November 2013 — by Kareem Clarke
Floodwaters approaching Belize District

The effects of days of heavy rains, beginning from last weekend, are still being felt as flood waters which are now heading towards the Belize District to make its way to the Caribbean Sea, have drained into the Belize River Valley area, causing multiple catastrophes for area residents.

In the village of Crooked Tree, the water is reportedly rising fast, and the causeway has become impassable for small vehicles. NEMO has dispatched a boat to the area, as it is believed that buses might soon not be able to enter the village.

The Coast Guard has also dispatched boats to the villages of Freetown Sibun and Rancho Dolores. Villagers have reported that waters are rising in Bomba and Flowers Bank, whilst flooding has already occurred in the villages of Gracie Rock, Grace Bank, Biscayne, St. Paul’s Bank, Lucky Strike, St. Ann’s, Santana, and Corozalito. People living in those areas are advised to take the necessary actions to safeguard their lives and properties and move to higher grounds if necessary.

NEMO has provided the numbers for Belize District Emergency Coordinators. For the Belize Rural North, the coordinator is Calbert Budd. His number is 602-8632. Kevin Pollard is the coordinator for the Belize Rural Central area. His number is 621-2275. The NEMO emergency hotline is 936.

Meanwhile, in the Mountain Pine Ridge, the northern side of the Privassion Bridge has been washed away and only large vehicles can cross, but with extreme caution. Certain parts of the approach to the Little Vaqueros Bridge have also been washed away. The Guacamallo Bridge is still under water and is impassable, similar to the low-lying bridge in San Ignacio/Santa Elena.

NEMO said that the road network in the Mountain Pine Ridge is severely eroded, and drivers are asked to drive with extreme care. The Hammock Bridge at Branch Mouth has been washed away. The culvert between La Gracia and Buena Vista has been washed away, and the road is closed to traffic.

In the Stann Creek District, the road in and out of San Pablo, on the Southern Highway, remains closed to traffic. In the Toledo District, Monkey River had three feet of water across the road and is therefore closed to traffic.

The Blue Creek road also reportedly had three feet of water across the road between Armado Creek and Hicatee Lodge, and is closed to traffic. On the Hopkins Road, there are some sections that have up to 14 inches of water. Drivers are asked to exercise extreme caution while driving on these roads. NEMO strongly advises the public that it is not safe to walk or drive through flood waters.

The latest advisory from NEMO asked the general public, especially residents of the Belize River Valley in the Belize District, to remain vigilant.

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