CEMO is Prepared says Belize City Mayor
The City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO) has also issued a notice on the weather system. It says that the system will not be a strong wind producer but will likely produce heavy rainfall with potential flooding, especially over the south. Rainfall is forecasted to peak on Monday with daily totals of 4 to 6 inches and locally higher amounts which could cause flooding across the country. Belize City is under sea level and so, CEMO is gearing up for any possible emergency. Mayor Bernard Wagner says that CEMO is fully prepared.
Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “Our CEMO team works very closely with NEMO and prior to the start of the hurricane season they have this exercise that they go and inspect all the hurricane shelters and based on what I’ve been told or made to understand that all those existing hurricane shelters have passed that test. Our CEMO is not a six-month type activity. Our CEMO continues throughout the year and has never been more prepared than it is today. I believe that we do have some areas and I visited the pumping station that is currently being constructed and due to the fact that it has to be, we have to damn the canal leading out to the sea by Yarbrough that has created some flooding. The water has nowhere to reach the sea and so what you experienced in the last month or so when those heavy rains came and you saw the canals along the east and west really flood and breaching the canals was because the construction of the pumping station requires that the canal be damned so the water doesn’t flow in the area of construction and so we have had discussion with the contractors, they have indicated to me yesterday that that pumping station project under the CVRP will be completed by ending of December. When that is fully functioning that pumping station along with the sluice gates that will create when we have the rain water flood or the flooding that comes via the Haulover those sluice gates will be closed and the pumping station activated and what that will do now that will begin to pump the water quickly within this area between the two canals, West canal and East canal and it will be pumped quickly via that pumping station back into the sea so we will see less flooding in this immediate area, the Dean Street, the King Street, Euphrates Avenue and all that area.”
Tomorrow all city and district committees including the Red Cross will be meeting. NEMO’s emergency hotline is 936 and a list of available shelters can be found on their website.