History Repeats Itself - We are seeing that hurricanes mimic other tracks of other hurricanes in the past and experts use this information to help them forecast the track of today’s hurricanes. But one observation that was brought to my attention was on Facebook by posts from two friends. They made me aware of how one hurricane hit San Pedro roughly around the same time as Hurricane Rina is threatening Belize and how two US production shows filmed in San Pedro have narrowly escaped the wrath of hurricanes.
Tina Auxilou reminded me on her Facebook post that 11 years ago this week, the dating reality show "Temptation Island" was quickly wrapping up shooting and leaving town before impending Hurricane Keith hit Belize. Captain Morgan's and Mata Chica resorts north of San Pedro played host to the first season of Fox's Temptation Island in 2000. It was one of the very first reality shows to start promoting Belize.
Come today, ABC’s Ben The Bachelor just finished wrapping up filming in San Pedro, Belize before Hurricane Rina makes its approach. The last of the film crew departed just yesterday, Tuesday, October 25, 2011.
“The Caye Caulker Split had just invested tons in a seawall upgrade,” recalled Tina Auxillou of back in 2000. “And the CC Split has just invested tons in the seawall upgrade after 10 years of Hurricane Keith damage...Aye...One step fo'wad - two step bakwad wid dis wedda!” What are the odds!
Filming of Temptation Island Reality Show at Mata Chica Resort 2000
Closer Look at Hurricane Keith
Hurricane season 2000 - Hurricane Keith was the strongest storm of the Atlantic hurricane season that caused great damage across Belize and southern Mexico. Keith reached Category 4 strength in a short amount of time and it weakened slightly after its eyewall passed over Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, Belize, on October 1. Keith spent three days looping over San Pedro and Caye Caulker until finally making landfall in Belize.
I remember those three LONG days waiting for the storm to pass. It was intense, frustrating and filled with fear. There are hundreds of stories about Hurricane Keith. During the storm, I clearly remember listening to the horrifying sound of the neighbor’s roof rolling across the house my family was taking refuge – like a freight train roaring by. Pretty scary stuff; but some people were far worse off than me. Some were treading water in their own back yard, others trapped at home as the building collapsed around them and my cousin was picked up by the heavy winds and dragged a good 40 feet down the street as she and her family fled from their unsafe house looking for proper shelter in the middle of the storm.
“We saw the hurricane hunters in the clear eye,” recalls Amanda Syme on her Facebook post as she remembers Hurricane Keith. “Between times we had 150 mph winds from all directions. There were dead birds and lizards everywhere. The trees were stripped. Roofing tile imbedded into coconut trees, the noise was a never ending freight train. The rain was horizontal.”
After the storm there was destruction everywhere, probably the worst San Pedro has ever seen. Mud and water everywhere; roofs were gone; houses were gone; no electricity for eight weeks; no running water, tv, computers, phone service or ice! “Regaining a sense of normalcy took a while,” commented Amanda Syme; so very true.
Keith was responsible for 19 deaths from flooding in Belize, none I believe on the islands of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. Monetary damage in Belize was estimated at $280 million.
I agree with Amanda when she says that we are older, we are wiser, we are prepared and we are cautious. We know what to expect as we have learned from experience and are very cautious when hurricanes threaten our island.
October is the month in which Belize receives the most threats from hurricanes; let’s hope Rina does not repeat history. God Bless.
Homes were totally destroyed by Hurricane Keith
Elvi's Kitchen and family residence loses its roof
Cleanup after Hurricane Keith
Aid and supplies from British Soldiers arrive in San Pedro
Many buildings lost their roofs
Cleanup after Hurricane Keith took months
Destruction at Ramon's Village after Hurricane Keith