Hurricane Earl Arrives.
Hurricane Earl first Struck Ambergris Caye in Belize during the wee hours of the morning. Just after midnight on Aug. 04, 2016. With sustained winds of 80MPH Earl had only just made the Cat I hurricane classification hours prior to hitting Belize.

Ambergris Caye Hit First.
In San Pedro, although there were no deaths reported at the time of this post, most of the businesses and infrastructure along the shoreline were totally destroyed or damaged beyond repair. Here is a link to a photo tour of the devastation reported by Robert J Hawkins on the morning after.

Belize City Was Lucky, But Not Unscathed.
In Belize City, flooding was reported. Earl hit the mainland north of Belize City which is fortunate for the city. The effects or the counterclockwise motion meant the winds would have been blowing offshore reducing the effects of the up to 5 ft. Storm surge and wave over effect. Much of Belize City is below sea level and when hurricanes hit south of the city the onshore winds pull the storm surge onshore having a much more devastating effect. Here is a video of the damage as reported by News 5 lives video the morning after.

Earl quickly Loses Strength As It Moves Inland.
In Bullet Tree where I live almost at the western border, Hurricane Earl weakened considerably. We experienced heavy wind and rains but other than small tree damage there was not much to mention. Unfortunately in Bullet Tree and I suspect in other parts of the country the danger didn’t end when Earl passed.  Hurricane Earl brought up to 12 inches of rain and with it a threat of flooding as the rivers swelled. People with homes by the river here were ordered to evacuate yesterday as the Mopan River was rising at a rate of about 6 inches per hour and threatening homes in the low lying areas and beside the river. Here is my YouTube video of the river yesterday and this morning to give you an idea of just how fast and to what degree flash flooding can occur.

A Reminder To Take These Storms Seriously And Be Prepared.
This is a reminder of the importance of taking all precautions during a hurricane watch. Hurricane Earl was a Cat I, and the destruction to Ambergris Caye was devastating. But as the Hurricane classification increases, so does the damage exponentially. Here is a link to the National Hurricane Center that has a model at the bottom of the page that illistrates that.

The History of Hurricanes in Belize and how to be prepared is outlined in my article published on June 06, 2016 titled Hurricane Season In Belize - How To Be Prepared.

We were in Placencia when Earl came through.  Everyone was prepared and thankfully, the peninsula escaped with minor damage.  They lost one pier and small dive shop in the village.  There was minor issues but everyone was feeling very blessed, as the winds were strong for hours and lots of rain.  Electricity was off until Thursday afternoon. 
We have a rental on Ambergris, just south of San Pedro town and came in yesterday to check damage.  Yes, the docks are nearly all destroyed and the beaches are littered with debris from the downed palapas and wooden buildings that bordered the beach. 
However, I was amazed that the damage seems to be mainly on the central section of the beach through town.  Palapa Bar is gone, the dive shops are gone, Ramons dock area is hard to recognize, as the dive shop and docks debris was slammed into the front of their resort.

As for the town, people were out and about last night, and cleanup has started.  The damage we observed yesterday was those buildings directly on the beach.  Most of the houses not directly on the beach had little to no damage.  Our place is one street off beach and we were thankfully fine.

Although this is devastating to see, I pray people will understand how quickly this small island will attempt to recover.  Just as we saw how this community came together after the devastating fire, it will recover from Earl.

Great reporting , thanks Bill and so pleased you are well as is for most of Belize.  Loved the videos, they helped informed.

Bill you are amazing. Thanks for the excellent coverage.  Our heart goes out to everyone affected by Earl .My husband and I are going to spend a week on Ambergris Caye. Arriving Sept. 1st. Would love to meet up . I am sure you are very busy so if you cannot we get it. Thinking of moving there. Where do you live? In Belize or one of the islands? If you have time you can email me   xxxx.

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Thanks Bill & Mommy2 for the reports on Belize. Glad everyone is okay. Thanks for the pics.

Mommy2all6 is absolutely correct about the resolve of the people of Belize to move forward in times following disaster. No time for self pity, just be thankful for what you have left and move forward. I spoke to a police detective friend of mine in San Pedro today, he informs me that the debris has been cleaned up already and San Pedro is open for business less than a week later. Internet is finally back on at my place too. Woo hoo.

Yes, Bill!   Everyone keeps asking what they can  do to help!!   If you have plans to visit Amberbris caye,..... DONT cancel your plans!  Thats the best thing you can do to help.  Yes, some of the businesses may be closed, but go to the island and support the local who are trying to rebuild the island and the atmosphere that we have all come to love. 
They need the tourist to continue to support  the community!!

My husband and I will be there!

Belize US consulates have started a fund for donations.

We booked a full day fishing trip today.  Morning fishing, afternoon snorkeling, then beach BBQ  with our wonderful catch of fish and lobster.

The guys were great, the water was absolutely beautiful, and this was the best trip we have even taken  out of San Pedro ( we have done 8).   
The only difference was they picked us up on the beach and not a dock.!!

They said please tell your friends to continue to come, we are up and running with business s usual.   The only thing that can hurt them now is if people stop coming.  Please continue to support this community we have all come to love.

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