Costa Rica’s emergency commission has canceled the alert that was in force due to the direct effects of Hurricane Sandy. Public shelters have closed, and occupants have returned to their homes.
There still is no report on the cost of the latest string of storms, but there was significant damage in some parts of the central Pacific. The damage was mostly roadways.
Meanwhile, the East Coast of the United States is preparing for what weather forecasters expect to be one of the biggest storms ever to hit the mainland.
Hurricane Sandy is moving up the Atlantic coast and is expected to join with two winter storm systems. Forecasters are calling this a hybrid superstorm, bringing damaging winds, heavy rains, flooding and snow in some areas. They expect it to span some 1,200 kilometers and affect up to 60 million residents starting late today.
U.S. President Barack Obama, who attended a briefing at the Federal Emergency Management Agency Sunday, called on affected residents to take the storm very seriously and to listen to orders from state and local authorities.
The hurricane already has winds of 120 kilometers per hour with higher gusts of up to 165 kilometers per hour extending outward from the center.
Authorities are urging citizens to make sure they stock up on drinkable water, canned food and batteries, and be prepared to spend days without power.
The Costa Rican government has expressed concern about the fate of their citizens who live in the United States. One community that is populated heavily by Costa Ricans is Bound Brook, New Jersey. That town has suffered heavy floods in the past, as have all the Jersey communities that are in the foothills of the Wachung Mountains.
Central Jersey appears to be in the anticipated track of the storm.
New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., have declared states of emergency. Authorities in Delaware have ordered some mandatory evacuations. New York City has braced for a near total shutdown of transit systems and schools, the New York Stock Exchange has closed its trading floor for Monday, and the United Nations has canceled meetings and closed its offices.
Obama has told federal emergency workers to get ready to move into action when storm-battered states call for help. He has canceled some campaign stops to remain at the White House and monitor the storm.
His Republican challenger, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, also cancelled campaign events in the critical battleground state of Virginia because of the storm.
Hurricane Sandy tore through the Caribbean region days ago, killing some 60 people in the Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica and Haiti.
The storm still is moving parallel to the U.S. East Coast, but forecasters expect a sharp turn to the west. That would mean a U.S. landfall. The storm has been moving northeast at about 45 degrees Sunday. But the U.S. National Hurricane Center said early today that the track has shifted to due north.