Hello, we are sending a little update on Hurricane Richard, which hit Belize on Sunday, October 24th. We wanted to let you know that Belize River Lodge and everyone at BRL is fine and safe, we are extremely happy to say.
Hurricane Richard performed just about exactly as predicted by NOAA and the Hurricane Center. Richard was a very compact Category 1 storm with sustained winds of about 85- 93 miles per hour. Hurricane winds extended just about 15 miles out from the center and made landfall Sunday evening between Belize City and Dangriga.
Belize City got 85-90 mph winds and a tidal surge of about 3-5 feet. Belize City being just about at sea level therefore got some flooding, lower levels of mangrove converted residential areas were completely flooded.
The surge at Belize River Lodge was just about 2-1/2 ft. above the river level before the storm. All boats had been secured on land and all buildings shuttered and battened down from Friday evening and up to mid afternoon on Saturday. Winds and rain started mid afternoon Sunday and by 2AM Monday morning it was almost calm with very little rain. Power went off about 5PM Sunday and was restored country wide throughout the day on Tuesday. We were able to get information on the storm from battery powered radios and LOVE FM radio had excellent coverage from Saturday thru Monday.
NEMO (National Emergency Management Organization) did a very good job, also. They advised voluntary evacuation of the cayes and opened public shelters throughout the country. Most damage was done to areas near the center of the storm as it went inland near Gales Point and through Belmopan. Most damage was to old and rickety houses and lots of trees were knocked over or badly broken.
Here at the lodge the only damage was to large trees that had not been cut back for several years, but no building structural damage. A tree went down on the outside clothes line, but luckily that was all. Winds at the lodge seemed to be about 75-85 mph, the river became rough as the wind blew up river past the lodge.
No damage at our marina where about 20 boats came in for safe mooring. The surge there appears to have been about 3 feet but all vessels had been secured from Saturday, with some surge expected.
The storm was weathered and the clean-up of the Lodge began on Monday. Storm shudders were removed, skiffs on land, bailed and returned to water. The tree debris is being cleared and BRL is up and running.
Mike & Marguerite
Belize River Lodge
PO Box 459
Belize City, Belize
Phone Direct: (501) 225-2002
Fax Direct: (501) 225-2298
Toll Free: (888) 275-4843
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