The National Hurricane Center says Tropical Storm Nana is expected to develop into a hurricane Wednesday evening as it heads for Belize.
The storm is expected to hit the Central American country sometime after 8 p.m. The NHC says it's more likely landfall will arrive around 2 a.m. Thursday.
For Canadian missionaries Annie and Kent Neufeld, who work in the country with Commission To Every Nation, it's the first time they've experienced a hurricane.
"We would appreciate your prayers for protection for Belize as a whole," they say in an update to family and supporters. The Neufelds serve in Cayo, Belize "showing Christ’s love through a social enterprise called The Village Cooperative, foster care, and a local youth group," their missionary bio says. "The Village Cooperative currently operates as a bakery and fresh food delivery marketplace. Their aim is to employ and empower individuals through Jesus focused leadership/discipleship impacting both their workplace experience and experiences at home."
In the prayer request sent out the Neufelds write that "The ladies who work in the bakery expressed their concerns to me and gave me all of the advice that they could as we worked on tomorrow’s order. Alicia drove around town collecting provisions to send home with them. We are praying for protection over their homes as well. Kent and I haven’t experienced a hurricane before, but we are doing our best to get prepared."
The NHC says in the latest report that "A dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 3 to 5 feet above normal tide levels along the immediate coast near and to the north of where the center makes landfall. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves."
Sustained winds of over 40 mph are expected, and areas worst hit could see winds of 60 mph or more. However, the NHC says weakening is also expected once it moves inland.