Heavy downpour causes flash floods, traffic snarls on Monday

Channel NewsAsia 23 Jan 17;

SINGAPORE: A heavy downpour caused flash floods and traffic snarls in Singapore during the morning peak period on Monday (Jan 23).

Flash floods were reported at the Tanjong Pagar area along Craig Road, Tanjong Pagar Road and Maxwell Road, national water agency PUB said on Facebook.

At 10am, the flash flood at Maxwell Road had subsided, and the road was passable to traffic, PUB said.

Heavy rain and a high risk of flooding was also reported at Alexandra Road, Tiong Bahru as well as the West Coast area, according to PUB.

Accidents were reported on many expressways, including AYE, CTE, PIE, SLE, KPE and TPE, the Land Transport Authority said on Twitter.

Obstacles were also reported on the PIE towards Tuas after the Clementi Road exit, CTE towards AYE after the PIE (Changi) exit, ECP towards city at Fort Road exit, CTE tunnel towards AYE after the Bukit Timah Road exit, as well as on the CTE towards SLE at the Braddell Road exit.

Moderate to heavy showers, sometimes with thunder, are expected to continue over many areas of Singapore for the rest of the day, the National Environment Agency said. The rain is expected to gradually ease by Tuesday evening.

According to the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS), the heaviest rainfall on Monday was recorded mostly over the southeastern and southwestern part of Singapore - around Kallang, Buona Vista, Queenstown and Marina Barrage - as of 5pm.

It added that so far this month, the total rainfall recorded at the Changi climate station was 81.8mm, which is 65 per cent lower than the long-term average for January. Between Jan 1 and 21, the total rainfall recorded at rainfall stations across Singapore ranged from 34.8mm to 272mm.

The heavy downpour also brought down temperatures on Monday. As of 8pm, the highest temperature recorded was 28.4°C in Pulau Ubin at 5.15pm. The lowest was 23.2°C at Ang Mo Kio at about 11.15am.

The MSS had said last Monday that the second half of January is expected to be wetter than the first fortnight of the year, with short-duration thunderstorms expected on six to eight days.

- CNA/cy


Flash floods seen across Singapore after heavy rain
ALFRED CHUA Today Online 24 Jan 17;

SINGAPORE — Ms Janell Chan, 30, thought that she had it all planned to handle yesterday morning’s heavy downpour: She packed an extra pair of shoes and a towel, just in case. But on her way to her office at Tanjong Pagar, the strap of one of her sandals broke, so she had to change into the shoes she packed, and was “drenched from the leg down” in the end.

The week got off to a wet start on Monday (Jan 23), with moderate to heavy downpours across many parts of the island, and Ms Chan’s route to work was near one of the two flash-flood areas around Tanjong Pagar.

The floods were reported at the junction of Craig Road and Tanjong Pagar Road, as well as at Maxwell Road (South Bridge Road). Waters subsided by around 9.45am and 10am, respectively, for the two zones.

Parts of the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park were also flooded when the Kallang River — which runs through it — burst its banks.

An administrative executive, who gave her name only as Ms Loh, told TODAY she was drenched completely even with an umbrella in hand. “I didn’t anticipate how heavy the rain would turn out,” she said.

Mr Joe Corey, a 45-year-old manager working near the City Hall area, said he was slightly late for work this morning because of the traffic snarl along the way to work.

Various parts of Singapore from Tiong Bahru to Marine Parade had high flood risk due to the overnight rain since Sunday, national water agency PUB said.

The Meteorological Service Singapore had warned last Monday that the two weeks of this month from Jan 16 was expected to be wetter than the first fortnight, even though the overall rainfall for January is forecast to be slightly below normal.

Businesses around Chinatown told TODAY that the wet weather had put a dampener on sales during the Chinese New Year season, with celebrations due to start this weekend.

A stallholder, who wanted to be known only as Mr Lim, said that the rains had “driven some customers away” even though his shop selling souvenirs is located along Smith Street and was not hit by flash floods. “The economy isn’t doing very well, too, so business has taken a hit,” he said in Mandarin.


Multiple flash floods across island after downpour
Isabelle Liew, The New Paper AsiaOne 24 Jan 17;

Heavy rain from 10pm on Sunday until noon yesterday led to 32 traffic accidents and multiple flooded areas across the island.

Flash floods occurred at a 20m stretch at the junction of Craig Road and Tanjong Pagar Road, and a 30m stretch at Maxwell Road (towards Kadayanallur Street) after South Bridge Road at around 9am, PUB said in a statement yesterday.

A PUB spokesman said: "Drainage improvement works at the junction of Maxwell Road and Tanjong Pagar Road will commence next month and are expected to complete by the third quarter of this year."

At around 9.30am, PUB said on its social media pages that the water level at the Alexandra Canal Sub Drain B, at Prince Philip Avenue near Redhill MRT station, was at 100 per cent.

It also sent out a warning for several high flood-risk areas as water levels rose above 90 per cent at Tanjong Penjuru/Penjuru Road, Tiong Bahru Road/Boon Tiong Road and Jalan Seaview.

Bishan Road and Yio Chu Kang Road were also added to its list of high flood-risk areas at around 11.20am.

The water levels for all of these areas fell below 90 per cent by noon.

The Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) had said on Jan 16 that more showers are expected in the second half of the month due to prevailing North-East Monsoon conditions.

When The New Paper visited the Alexandra Canal at noon yesterday, there was a slight drizzle, and the water level of the 1.2km-long canal had subsided to about half its height.

Workers from Toh Guan Enterprise Hub, who declined to be named, told TNP that the water threatened to overflow at 9am but did not.

High water levels at the Kallang River at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park also receded after the rain stopped, said the PUB spokesman.

Madam Cheong Lee Meng, 66, a retiree who lives in a block overlooking the park, said high water levels were common there.

"There is shallow water if there is no rain. There was heavy rain today, but I was not alarmed because the water didn't reach the bridge or pathway. The water receded fast after the rain stopped," she said.

Social media was flooded with photos and videos of the flash floods.

Places included Maxwell Road, Tanjong Pagar, Commonwealth, Supreme Court Lane and Upper Cross Street near the State Courts.

Facebook user Jama Mohamed posted a video of a flash flood in a drain near the Commonwealth Crescent carpark.

Twitter user Shaiful Rizal, 30, was on his way to work at Lim Teck Kim Road in the Tanjong Pagar area at 9.20am when he lost his slippers in ankle-deep water.

He told TNP: "I lost my slippers while I was crossing the road at the traffic lights. My feet were fully submerged. Luckily I found some spare shoes in the office."

Lianhe Wanbao also reported that the water was gushing out from drains at the bus stop outside Haw Par Villa MRT station.

SPARED

Upper Thomson Road, which was hit by flash floods last Thursday and on Christmas Eve, was spared during yesterday's rain.

Mr Syed Ridzwan, 40, a waiter at The Roti Prata House, near Jalan Keli, told TNP that he was thankful that it did not flood.

He said: "I was worried at first, but everything was under control. I am still worried about business being affected because customers are scared that it will flood here."

Shop owners in Chinatown said the rain had dampened sales in the run-up to Chinese New Year on Saturday. (See report below.)

An MSS spokesman said the heaviest rainfall as of 5pm yesterday was recorded mostly over the south-eastern and south-western parts of the island - around Kallang (99.6mm), Buona Vista (96.6mm), Queenstown (92.4mm) and Marina Barrage (91.0mm).

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