Tropical Storms Wreak Havoc

Tropical Storms Wreak Havoc on Costa Rica’s Transportation Infrastructure

When the PanAmerican highway washed away at the bridge over the Río Seco in late July it was an ominous portend of an unprecedented rainy season.

August 2010 was the rainiest on record in many regions and every major highway in Costa Rica was closed at some point.

September was a disaster in the Central Valley and on the Pacific.  Emergency crews scrambled to keep at least one of the routes from the capital to the coast open most of the time as landslides continued on the prematurely inaugurated Caldera highway and the Pan American was closed intermittently for the entire month by a washout at Cambronera southwest of San Ramón.  The Guápiles highway (32) to the Caribbean was closed half a dozen times for half a day or more.  The Pan American highway south washed out at Río Claro near the turn to Golfito and at Tres Ríos just east of San José.  The minor highway closures were to numerous to mention.

Enlarge Costa Rica Road Emergencies

Expect at Least Another Month of the Same

Hurricane Michael made landfall Sunday September 26th and led to several days of rain and was followed a few days latter by tropical storm Nicole which finished off September by dropping up to eight inches of rain on regions of the Pacific and Central valley in a few hours. That’s more than San Diego California gets in a normal year.

Otto is next and although Costa Rica will be on the periphery, torrential rains and closures on all major routes are likely. Tropical storms are lined up across the Atlantic and headed towards the Caribbean like a freight train all the way from Africa set to deliver one of the rainiest Octobers ever. Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN) predicts up to 70% more rain than normal in October and says it’s likely the rainy season will extend through November in some parts of the country.

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