Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ernesto-tropical storm or hurricane

I'm so pleased that we made our trip to San Pedro last week.  What luck!  The previous week Betty hadn't felt well and this week, well, here comes Ernesto.  We've had sunny and fairly mild weather, for Belize, but starting last evening, we're starting to get clouds and occasional rain.  We've all been watching the progress of this tropical storm, either via radio or internet.  It's really helpful to be able to track storms thru the National Hurricane Center or several weather sites.   A few days ago it looked as tho' Ernesto was heading NW and would take the usual course of hitting the Yucatan and Cuba.  As of yesterday it's changed to a westerly direction which puts Belize at the edge of it's path.  By the time it leaves Honduras it is expected to reach hurricane status. 

There isn't a lot we can do and we hope that the projection of 65mph winds holds true.  If so, we'll be fine.  The real worry is the rain.  The edge of hurricanes brings about 12 inches of rain in a short time.  If this continues to Guatemala, then the Mopan River will rise to flood level.  Most gringos want to have river property.  It's an obsession.  For us, we wouldn't trade our hill for riverfront.  Our main concern will be Paslow Falls Rd.  The government hasn't seen fit to work on it and it fronts on the river in a couple of places.  That could mean the road will wash out.  As a precaution, we sent the old Trooper (car) home with Rene.  If we can't drive out, we can walk over the hill and have a car to get to the store.  We closed the shutters on all the window in the guest house and will close the ones in our house tonight or whenever the wind starts blowing.  Right now it's calm and very muggy.  

Most businesses have closed or will close at noon.  All government offices closed until the storm has passed.

For us a storm can be an adventure or a worry, if strong, but for the Belizeans, it's heartbreaking.  Their diet consists mostly of carbohydrates in the form of rice and corn.  The corn crop right now is nearing harvest, with cobs just starting to fill.  This storm will wipe most or all of it out.  Corn isn't strong and the wind will knock it over and the rain will rot it.  I asked Rene when they can replant and he said probably in early November for a Jan. or Feb harvest.  In the meantime, they'll have to pay dearly for imported corn.  We'll see what happens. 


Gopal Yadav said...

fantastic post and Thanks for sharing this info. It's very helpful.
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catdance62 said...

The storm is passed now. If you find out, see if you can post news on how the corn crop fared.