November 4, 2022
On Wednesday, November 2, 2022, Hurricane Lisa roared into Belize as a Category 1 with sustained winds of 85 mph, however, long strong gusts of 120+mph winds blew through causing much havoc. Along with the heavy winds, it was high tide and a major saltwater surge blew up the Belize Olde River and along the coastline. Many people in Belize lost their homes to collapse, falling trees or their roofs to the winds, including Debbie, Marguerite’s niece and our in-house accountant. Belize Elementary and High School in Belize City, Marguerite’s grand-daughters’ alma mater, lost most of their roofing and are still in the stages of accessing before repairs and children can return to school.
Marguerite described Hurricane Lisa’s effect on Belize River Lodge as “the Jungle Cried Tonight” as Hurricane Lisa whipped in with big gusts of wind and a tidal surge that had the water levels looking like waves breaking on the reef. Many trees were uprooted and lost, including a few of our majestic Royal Palms and our beloved Jackfruit Tree. The jungle looks ”topped off” in the backyard. Mike and Marguerite along with Yvonne and her two teenagers, Mikey and the watchman weathered the storm at BRL. Along with the downed trees, the Lodge lost phone lines, electricity and as we are on a well, water (no well pump) – no phone, no electricity and no water!
The good news, other than a few screens, our beautiful mahogany Lodge has survived another hurricane. Mike and Marguerite and crew who opted to stay at BRL are all safe and fine. We have been blessed! And our families are safe! BRL has a small generator so fridges, freezers, water pump and cel phones are being rotated.
NEMO (Belize’s National Emergency Management Organization) gave the “green” level for all clear and movement to resume around Belize at noon yesterday, November 10th. Marguerite, Yvonne and Mikey started to access the lodge; Marguerite’s son, Trevor, started accessing damage and needed repairs to the marina and boats there and her nephew-in-law, Dennis, showed up at BRL with a big chainsaw and seven workmen to start the clearing yesterday. Trevor was back at it today along with a few of the BRL crew to check on Long Caye Outpost and Dennis along with his trusty chainsaw and more workmen came to continue the cutting, clearing and cleaning around the Lodge. The Lodge should be cleared of debris shortly, now to await electricity!
Our poor gardens will need to be tended and Marguerite and her crew will be out next week starting to plant again. She hopes that they can start a new Jackfruit tree with what remains. We have a few Royal Palm shoots and other plants “started” in the backyard, which hopefully will take root and grow strong. The positive side, when you visit, you can look at all the new growth of the new plants and trees that will grace our Belize River Lodge bank of the Belize Olde River.
Even with our damage, we know it was mostly cosmetic, we have been blessed, as many in Belize did not fare as well. Roofs were torn off, houses toppled and trees fell on houses. Please remember our fellow Belizeans in your kind thoughts and prayers; many Belizeans have a longer and harder road to get back home.
Thank you to everyone who has called, texted or emailed to check on us. We appreciate you thinking about us at a time like this.
Below are a few pictures taken by Aaliyah (Yvonne’s daughter) with her cel phone on Thursday, November 3rd about 7:00 am.
The Lodge was boarded up and as prepared as could be for a hurricane. Mainly cosmetic damage but sad to see so many beautiful trees lost.
We will send our next “Fish Tales” when we can send updated photos of Belize River Lodge cleaned up, power on and growing again.