Hurricane Earl Arrives Overnight.
Hurricane Earl first Struck Ambergris Caye in Belize during the wee hours of the morning. Just after midnight on Aug. 04, 2016. With sustained winds of 80MPH Earl had only just made the Cat I hurricane classification hours prior to hitting Belize.
Ambergris Caye Was Hit First.
In San Pedro, although there were no deaths reported at the time of this post, most of the businesses and infrastructure along the shoreline were totally destroyed or damaged beyond repair. Here is a link to a photo tour of the devastation reported by Robert J Hawkins the morning after.
Belize City Was Lucky, But Not Unscathed.
In Belize City, flooding was reported. Earl hit the mainland north of Belize City which is fortunate for the city. The effects or the counterclockwise motion meant the winds would have been blowing offshore reducing the effects of the up to 5 ft. Storm surge and wave over effect. Much of Belize City is below sea level and when hurricanes hit south of the city the onshore winds pull the storm surge onshore having a much more devastating effect. Here is a video of the flooding and damage as reported by News 5 lives video the morning after.
Hurricane Earl Weakened As It Moved Inland.
In Bullet Tree almost at the west border, Hurricane Earl weakened considerably. We experienced heavy wind and rains but other than small tree damage there was not much to mention. In Bullet Tree and I suspect in other parts of the country the danger didn’t end when Earl passed. Hurricane Earl brought up to 12 inches of rain and with it a threat of flooding as the rivers swelled. People with homes by the river were ordered to evacuate yesterday as the Mopan River was rising at a rate of about 6 inches per hour and threatening those in the low lying areas and beside the river. Here is my YouTube video of the river yesterday and this morning to give you an idea of just how fast and to what degree flash flooding can occur.
A Reminder To Take These Storm Seriously and Be Prepared.
This is a reminder of the importance of taking all precautions during a hurricane watch. Hurricane Earl was a Cat I, and the destruction to Ambergris Caye was devastating. But as the Hurricane classification increases, so does the resulting damage increase exponentially. Here is a link to the National Hurricane Center that has a model at the bottom of the page that illustrates this.
The History of Hurricanes in Belize and how to be prepared is outlined in my article published on June 06, 2016 titled Hurricane Season In Belize – How To Be Prepared.
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