Iquitos Flooding, Life Goes On

by Captain Bill

I’m sick and tired of hearing this Iquitos flooding is normal; that it happens ever year, or every ten years. Not to this level it doesn’t! If it’s your home that’s full of muddy water for the first time, it’s not normal. If the muddy water is lapping at your doorstep for the first time, it’s not normal. This flooding is extreme. The government declared a state of emergency for greater Iquitos on April 20th and the water level has risen every day since then and it’s still rising.

A man struggling in the flooded market of Bellavista Nanay, a suburb of Iquitos, to get all of his cows to higher ground.

We launched two boats this morning, one on a 4 day cruise up the flooded Nanay River and another on a day trip up the flooded Momon River. I’m looking forward to talking to my passengers and crew to know what it’s like out there on the flooded rivers.

Life goes on in Bellavista Nanay, it's just more difficult

The market near the ports of the Nanay River is under water and all of the vendors have moved to higher ground.

The market vendors near the ports of the Nanay River have all moved to higher ground.

I’ve never seen the water this high. I hear the last time it was this high was in 1996, before my time in Iquitos.

River water is outside the gate at my home port, the Hunting and Fishing Club

The best port on the Nanay River is the Club Social Deportivo Caza y Pesca, or the Hunting and Fishing Club, where we keep our boats.

The Dawn on the Amazon small boat Dawncita, leaving port for a day trip. Siempre!

Life goes on, business goes on, but it’s more difficult.

Iquitos Flooding, Life Goes On

Bill Grimes, reporting from Iquitos, stay tuned.

If you are interested or concerned about us here in Iquitos, click these links for more news about our predicament…

Amazon River Flooding, 118 Meters And Rising;

Amazon River Extremes;

Flood Victims In The Amazon;

Amazon Flooding More Than Usual;

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jim Richardson May 1, 2011 at 9:12 am

Bill, I have been out and about with my boat and it is sad to see the displacement and misery created by rising waters. Yet, people adjust despite the misery…like water of a duck´s back. I remember the mid 1990´s flooding here and seeing how high the water was at the bottom of Pevas. Another impact is that the snakes seek highr ground and I see that on my land up the Itaya.

2 Captain Bill May 1, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Hi Jim, Thanks for sharing your observations. I agree. Wildlife moves to higher ground, including into the city. I hear more stories than usual about snakes, rats, and other critters right in town. Do you think this will top the mid 1990’s flood? Of course no one really knows but that is an interesting subject for speculation that is bantered about here at the corner café. Ed Hudson is on record as saying he doesn’t think it will a record, but based on information from my sources on the Marañon River, (who have historically been notoriously wrong), I do believe 2011 will go down in history for the highest recorded flood water level. There is no doubt the difference between the lowest water level ever recorded in 2010, and where ever this flood levels out to in 2011 will be the largest change between the low and high ever recorded.

3 Tessa Eagle Swan April 11, 2012 at 10:28 am

Dear Bill
Thank you for sharing this, i wish i could do more than share this on my facebook page. After my treatment, im still not working otherwise i would have sent you a donation. Let me know how things go and if need be i will try to raise something to help

4 Captain Bill April 11, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Dear Tessa,

Thanks for thinking of us in Iquitos during this flood season. Don’t you worry about a thing. Your moral support is more than enough.

Best regards,

5 Maria Suchowski April 28, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Hi Bill,
Just opened an email from Chuck Haley alerting us of this situation. If it isn’t too late, what’s the best way to send a contribution?

6 Captain Bill April 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Hello Maria, Thank you so much for your good intentions. We have been working on this for two weeks and need to move on to our own projects. Please don’t send money now. It takes several days from the good thought to distributing survival supplies.

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