The Kendall Bridge is down. A provisional bridge is up. The provisional bridge has been washed away. Southern Belize is cut off. Supplies are being rafted. It’s tough keeping up with the news as I plan my trip. Although I have not yet arrived in Belize (I’ll be there in a few days), I’ve been receiving a great deal of reports from my agents in the field, particularly regarding the Southern Highway’s intersection with the Sittee River, which has been gushing Guatemalan runoff for over a month. The variety of responses I am receiving is a typical assortment of Belizean (and expat) color and optimism, even in the face of disaster:
- “We got hit hard by [Tropical Storm] Arthur when the Kendall bridge acted like a dam … when it broke the surge bought in 6-8′ of water … our staff removed 2-3′ of silt … we are up and running and everything is blooming because of the nutrients.”
- “Weâ€™ve got a causeway now over the Kendall river â€“ itâ€™s holding up so far, and apparently the kids are having a great time swimming through the culverts!”
- “I hear the temporary Kendall bridge is back up. I have a feeling it will be like this all through rainy season. Seems like they get it back up quickly, as the oil companies have to cross through there to get their oil to the export market. At last something positive about the oil industry!”
- “…cannot guarantee the weather or the passability of the Kendall bridge … because the original bridge was completely wiped out and they have installed a low temp bridge on top of culvert pipe … which got wiped out again last week … the river came up 2-3 feet last week but did not get to the bungalows.
- “Well, the second causeway is complete (first one got washed out last Friday), and weâ€™ve sent D up to Sittee River this morning to collect our truck (we got stuck the wrong side of the river on Friday and had to fly back down from Dangriga) so weâ€™ll get an update from him, but a friend up at Sittee (close to Kendall) says it looks fine. Thereâ€™s still a fair bit of rain down here, and Crique Sarco is under water, some of the other villages are pretty wet, but PG is fine.”
- “The Kendall Bridge is back on track again; a temporary causeway has been reinstalled until the bridge is completed. Transport is possible and has resumed to and from this area.”