- Eta, now a Tropical Depression, is currently moving north off the coast of Belize.
- A flood warning is in effect for Belize.
- Belize may receive 10-20 inches, with isolated amounts up to 25 inches.
- As of Friday morning, Eta has maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and is moving north at 7 mph.
- Upon re-entering the Caribbean Sea, Eta is expected to re-develop into a tropical storm.
Eta back in the Caribbean, moving off the coast of Belize
Tropical Depression Eta is back in the Caribbean but is expected to continue causing heavy rains and life-threatening flooding over parts of Central America. Eta is currently moving north off the coast of Belize and a tropical storm watch is in effect for The Cayman Islands. A turn to the northeast is still expected Friday evening that could continue through early Sunday. The forecast track shows Eta moving across the northwestern Caribbean Sea today, approaching the Cayman Islands Saturday, and be near Cuba Saturday night and Sunday. Although, Eta may head towards Florida later this weekend as a tropical storm, according to a Friday morning update from the National Hurricane Center.
- Much of Nicaragua and Honduras: Generally 15-25 inches, with isolated amounts up to 35 inches.
- Eastern Guatemala and Belize: Generally 10-20 inches, with isolated amounts up to 25 inches.
- Parts of Panama and Costa Rica: Generally 10-15 inches, with isolated amounts up to 25 inches.
- Jamaica and southeastern Mexico: Generally 5-10 inches, with isolated amounts up to 15 inches.
- El Salvador, southern Haiti, and the Cayman Islands: Generally 3-5 inches, with isolated amounts up to 10 inches.
A flood warning remains in effect for districts in Belize, specifically Cayo, Belize, Stann Creek and Toledo. Belize’s National Emergency Management Organization reminds motorists that the George Price Highway is closed due to structural compromise. Additionally, all crossings in the Cayo district are flooded or at risk to flood except the main crossings, Hawkesworth bridge and the Santa Elena bypass (new) bridge. As of Friday morning, Eta has maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and is moving north at 7 mph. Forecasters expect it to become stronger, redeveloping into a tropical storm heading into the weekend through early Sunday.
Central America still on high alert as Hurricane Eta kills dozens
Rain-heavy remnants of Hurricane Eta have flooded homes from Panama to Guatemala, as the death toll across Central America rose to at least 57 people and aid groups warned flooding and mudslides were creating a slow-moving humanitarian disaster. Eta made landfall in Nicaragua as a Category 4 major hurricane but degenerated once its center became disrupted by Central America’s mountainous terrain causing it to weaken into a tropical depression Wednesday evening. Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said around half the deaths were in a single town; a hillside collapse buried some 20 houses under thick mud. Giammattei said a month’s worth of rain had fallen in less than half a day during an impromptu press conference on Thursday.
Upon re-entering the water, Eta is expected to re-develop into a tropical storm. Models are in disagreement about where the storm will head after it’s back in the Caribbean. Some say the system will hover around Cuba; meanwhile, others think it will come closer to South Florida on Monday or Tuesday, according to forecasters. Only a sliver of southwest Florida is currently in the cone of uncertainty.