On Wednesday, the Ministry of Transport (MOPT) inaugurated the Chilamate (Saripiqui) – Vuelta Kooper (San Carlos) road. On Thursday it flooded. But the flooding is not more than 15 minutes, said the MOPT.
The Chilamate-Vuelta Kooper project began in 2013, cutting down the travel time from San Carlos in the northern zone to Limon, in the Caribbean coast. A route that would not only reduce time, but costs to the trucker industry and relieve the heavy traffic at time in the small communities along the winding road that connected the two points for decades.
Friday’s flooding, had the social media networks abuzz with photos and videos. In one case, at 4:48 pm the Cuerpo de Bomberos (Fire Department) received a call of at least five people trapped in the vehicles, this in the area of Muelle.
Fortunately, no injuries were reported, Andrea Aguilar, the shift supervisor at the Bomberos said no on required to be taken to the hospital.
The MOPT, once again, issued a statement saying it will be investigating the cause of the flooding, make the necessary corrections as soon as possible and determine where the responsibility lies.
All great words, but of no comfort to the people caught in the mess and does not bode well on a government of Luis Guillermo Solis, in his last months of his administration, elected on a platform of change.
In trying to justify Thursday’s flooding, Omar Segura, spokesperson for the MOPT, said the flooding was blamed to the Tres Amigos river that runs parallel to the new road, overflowing its banks.
For his part, the Minister of the MOPT, German Valverde, said that during the four years of the development of the project (in itself an entire novela – Latin soap opera – can be written) there was never any situation similar to Thursday and Friday, in addition, the drainage system had been reviewed recently.
Uh, maybe it was all the cars on the road? Come on, Mr. Minister, even you can’t believe that one.
While the MOPT engineers and whatnots do their thing, drivers are cautioned not to use the road during heavy rain. To that end, the Policia de Transito (Traffic Police) has said it will coordinate with the MOPT so that, if necessary, apply road closures to avoid risk to drivers.
The Friday afternoon rains also resulted in floodings in various areas, including Pital and Florencia in San Carlos, where, according to the Cruz Roja (Red Cross), some 20 people had to be evacuated when their home were completely under water.
As we continue to see the effects of climate change, the traditional worst months of the rainy season, September and October, came early this year.
This is the time of year when storms can cause flash flooding anywhere. Those living near rivers are being asked to be more vigilant of the water levels and move to higher ground to ensure their safety. When driving, avoid or be extremely careful, when traversing puddles of water, you never, ever know how deep that pothole is.