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NEMO warns of possible flooding in low-lying areas due to Tropical Storm Julia

Posted: Friday, October 7, 2022. 4:51 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: The National Emergency Management Organization (NENO) is advising Belizeans, particularly in low-lying areas to be mindful of possible flooding this weekend due to Tropical Storm Julia.

NEMO said that, as s of 4:00 p.m. today, Julia was located near latitude 13.0N, longitude 74.7W or about 450 miles east of La Providencia, Colombia, and was moving to the west at 18mph with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour. Julia is forecast to make landfall in Nicaragua as a category one hurricane but is expected to rapidly weaken once it makes landfall.

“Direct landfall from this system is not expected in Belize and hence tropical storm or hurricane conditions are unlikely to affect Belize. However, the system will be a heavy rainfall producer (showers and thunderstorms), which could lead to widespread flooding across the country, especially over the south,” NEMO said.

NEMO also said that a moist north-easterly airflow ahead of this system is supporting rainfall across the country with totals of one to two inches expected today, with another one to two inches on Saturday, along with three to five inches on Sunday and Monday. Rainfall is expected to decrease back down to two inches on Tuesday as the remnants of the system move away.

The organization stressed that the data represents model estimates and that Belize may experience higher amounts of rainfall. Squally conditions and moderate to rough seas are expected. NEMO said that the storm making landfall in Belize is unlikely as it appears that the west-north-westward turn after landfall will not be sufficient to have the center re-emerge over the Gulf of Honduras.

“NEMO advises the public to remain vigilant throughout the long weekend. The weather conditions over the weekend may lead to flooding in low-lying areas. Check your family/emergency plan and check on vulnerable family members, particularly the elderly and persons with disabilities. Be prepared to take the necessary actions to save lives. If you must evacuate, go to higher grounds, do not wait until it is too late, and always move before nightfall,” NEMO added.

Those in flood-prone areas are also advised to avoid walking or driving through flood waters, as six inches of running water can knock you off your feet. Notably, One foot of water can sweep away a vehicle away, so motorists are advised to drive slowly with hazard lights on if they must drive in the rain.

Those in need of emergency assistance are urged to call NEMO’s hotline at 936.


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