Torrential rains unleashed flooding, sewer overflows, and traffic headaches across many parts of Costa Rica on Wednesday, according to the National Emergency Commission (CNE). At least 13 weather-related incidents were reported.
The capital city of San José bore the brunt of the downpours. But other areas including Puriscal, Golfito, León Cortés, Oreamuno, San Mateo, Pérez Zeledón, and Santa Ana were also impacted by the intense rainfall.
One of the most dramatic events unfolded mere 300 meters west of Hospital La Carit in downtown San José. There, firefighters carried out a daring rescue of a man trapped in his vehicle, which was nearly engulfed by floodwaters.
Once freed from the car, paramedics assessed the individual and determined there was no need to transport him to a medical facility. A potentially catastrophic situation was averted thanks to the swift response.
Roadways turned into waterlogged messes, snarling traffic throughout the region. The vital General Cañas Highway experienced major congestion Wednesday evening due to heavy flooding that posed both an inconvenience and safety hazard.
Excess water also overwhelmed sewage systems and raised river levels. The CNE reported increased flow in the Quebrada Seca in Belén. The Municipal Emergency Committee kept a close watch on the La Amistad sector for resulting damage.
In Golfito, the Claro and Lagarto rivers swelled significantly, adding to the hazardous conditions. Homes and businesses near overflowing rivers faced elevated flood risks.
According to forecasts from the National Meteorological Institute (IMN), Thursday will see partial cloud cover. However, isolated showers and thunderstorms are likely during the afternoon and evening across the Central Valley, northern zones, Pacific coast, and Caribbean side.
The approaching Intertropical Convergence Zone promises to trigger heavy precipitation over the next several days. Costa Ricans are urged to take precautions and follow alerts closely as more downpours are imminent.
Events this week underscore the need for infrastructure improvements to mitigate flooding. They also highlight the dedication of first responders who bravely confront dangerous situations to assist the public.