Hurricane Hattie  Category 5
        
was a powerful  hurricane that hit Central America on Halloween during the 1961 Atlantic hurricane season.

Formed    ---- October 27, 1961 
Dissipated ---- November 1, 1961 
Highest winds   ---- 160 mph (260 km/h)
 ---- (1-minute sustained) 

Lowest     ----  920 mbar (hPa;
pressure   ---- 27.17 inHg) 
Fatalities           ---- 319 total 

Damage                 $60.3 million (1961 USD)
             $440 million  (2009 USD) 

Areas affected        Belize, Guatemala, Honduras 
Check the water level on both pictures
Belize has had it's share of hurricane hits and near misses.  
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Janet in 1955.  The eye of Janet packed winds of 135 miles per hour and it made landfall on a small Mexican village north of San Pedro Town.  In Corozal town, the eye reached winds of up to 150 knots. There were devastating winds and massive flooding in the northern districts, 16 deaths, and 20,000 people left homeless. In San Pedro, the houses on back street were damaged, the beach homes and lots were large mounds of sand, and the beach increased by many feet.

Hattie in October 1961.  Hattie formed inside the Caribbean Sea and traveled north towards Cuba. Then, unfortunately for Belize, turned west and tracked directly into Belize City. Hattie's eye had winds of  115 miles per hour with gusts estimated at 200 miles per hour. The eye passed between Belize City and Dangriga causing 307 deaths in Belize City alone. It was this hurricane that resulted in George Price, and the People's United Party (PUP) to relocate their Capital City from Belize City to the safer location of Belmopan. 

Greta in 1978.  (Hurricane blow staggers Belize; Stann Creek is the worst hit).  Although human casualties number only 5.  Property damages  was in the millions.  
In Stann Creek, the whole grapefruit crop is destroyed, half the orange crop is devastated, and the fledgling banana industry in the Cowpen area has had it!   50 houses are destroyed in Dangriga town and up to 100 suffered major damages.  In Belize city, Queen Charlotte Town (Yarborough) were smashed into fragments.

Mitch in 1998.   Mitch hurricane, although causing severe damage to various areas within Belize actually was not a direct hit on Belize.  In fact it sort of danced around Belize.  It was formed in the same general area as Hurricane Hattie and took the same curve towards Belize but Mitch went  more southward thus making landfall in Honduras instead of Belize. Mitch was a catastrophic hurricane with winds up to 180 miles per hour.  Fortunately, Belize was not it's main target!

Let's dance... do you know the Tango?  We're talking about the one and only (the name Mitch has since been retired)...

Hurricane Keith in 2000,    Keith came into the Belizean Cayes on October 1, 2000.  For Ambergris Caye, as well as Caye Caulker, this hurricane brought rain... and more rain.. for three long days.  Hurricane Keith did end up becoming a Cat. 4 level hurricane with wind gust up to 155 miles per hour however it was it's slow moving speed which made Keith such a problem, again especially to the Cayes.  As Keith made Belize's mainland it quickly diminished into a Tropical Storm.  

The 2005 Hurricane Season... The worst hurricane season ever!  Fortunately, Belize was spared.  See below for brief info. regarding those hurricanes which were "near misses" for Belize.

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*Hurricanes are named alphabetically from a list in chronological order. Thus the first tropical storm or hurricane of the year has a name that begins with "A" and the second is given the name that begins with "B." The lists contain names that begin from A to W, but exclude names that begin with a "Q" or "U." 

There are six lists that continue to rotate. The lists only change when there is a hurricane that is so devastating, the name is retired and another name replaces it

Hurricane Mitch 1998
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Click on thumbnail pic for a larger view
 Hurricane Hattie 1961 - vol # 1
REMEMBERING THE DEVASTATION IN BELIZE 
AFTER HURRICANE HATTIE (1961 )
Channel 5 Belize