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Tropical Storm Nate hits Costa Rica - October 2017

Isabelle Emond

October 9th, 2017

Satellite weather map of Tropical Storm Nate near Costa RicaWe have just been through Tropical Storm Nate in Costa Rica and it affected all of the country, some areas more than others, like the Southern part of Costa Rica where they experienced much more rain and strong winds. Our offices are located in the Guanacaste, Pacific side/North portion of the country where tropical storms are very unusual so it surprised all of us. In our area, the driest part of the country, the infrastructure is not built to receive so much water in such a short period of time. The power lines are not as strong and solid as they should be, and the trees are big and cover some of the main electrical lines. You can see in the satellite image, it can become hazardous quite fast with a recipe of wind and rain that lasts for days. 

Tropical Storm Nate lasted 4 days and brought heavy rains, created landslide, and floods which blocked roads, it destroyed bridges and damaged many houses. In Costa Rica, nearly 400,000 people have been without running water and electricity for days, and thousands have been sleeping in shelters. At least eight people died in Costa Rica, while another 11 were killed when Nate moved north and reached Nicaragua. Fortunately, the Guanacaste received a lot of rain and got strong winds too but, compared to other parts of the country, we were spared the main brunt of the storm. Sounds like our area is kind of protected, somehow. Micro-climate maybe? 

My husband and I were returning from a months vacation in Europe, the storm started 24h after our arrival. It’s been an adventure without power, internet or water, trying to deal with “back to work”, grocery, laundry, and with 8h time difference jet lag. We are Canadians from Eastern Canada, we are not used to emergencies as hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes, cyclones. We are learning through that experience that no matter where you live, you have to be prepared. Things are changing all around the globe so we are now thinking ahead with many extra bottles of water in our storage room, extra gas to cut trees with the chainsaw and for the generator, lots of dry towels, a second sump pump in case the first one breaks, many candles, batteries, extra food, etc. Better to be prepared than sorry! 

Now that things are back to normal, I highly appreciate my cappuccino in the morning, the water coming out of my tap, the hot showers, my vacuum, which makes my life much easier than a broom, my washer, and dryer that makes my clothes clean and smelling good within an hour, my fridge and freezer that keeps my stuff cold. I also love my internet who allows me to communicate with people, to work, to get through the daily news. All of these things require electricity to work. Basic thought, but we have a tendency to forget how lucky we are, and how electricity and running water can make our life easier, make us happier. Check list: I appreciate them all and so much more now!

Isabelle Emond, Owner/Broker

We invite all of those who would like to help people affected by Storm Nate in Costa Rica to make their donations through the following links: http://www.cruzroja.or.cr/ and/or http://www.cepiacostarica.org/en/donate.html