Earl whips Cayo

By Marion Ali
Assistant Editor

Hurricane Earl slammed into the Belize District and ripped through the central portion of the country, dumping huge amounts of rain as it slowly made its way west of Belize, but not before also creating challenges for the Cayo district.
The category one hurricane pummeled Cayo with gusts of up to 65 miles per hour, downing trees, utility posts and small wooden structures whose foundations were already compromised by the elements and time.

By the time the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) had issued the “all clear” Friday morning, the dirty, brown Macal river that cuts through Santa Elena and San Ignacio towns had already covered the low-lying wooden bridge and was rising steadily under the single-lane Hawkesworth Bridge a few hundred yards upstream.
Huge chunks of debris could be seen rushing down the river, and streets that act as important arteries to the daily commute in the twin towns became rivers themselves. Savannah and Burns avenues near the Welcome Centre in downtown San Ignacio was flooded, and many of the businesses along that stretch were also flooded out.

On Friday, the flood caused a traffic bottleneck at the river crossing, since the low-lying bridge was out of commission and the only other crossing was the Hawkesworth Bridge. Those affected spent the day washing out and reorganizing their places that the storm had left its mark on.

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