Afternoon storm damages golf course, fells trees

Channel NewsAsia 14 Oct 14;

SINGAPORE: Heavy showers on Tuesday afternoon (Oct 14) proved to be costly for All Star Golf Range, as it caused structural damage to the facility that will result in possible closure of approximately two to three months.

Owner of the golf range, Tendy Tsai, told Channel NewsAsia that the thunderstorm and hailstones happened at around 2.30pm and no one was injured. It did cause some of the range's structure to fall, he added.

He is now waiting for the surveyor to assess the damage, and added: "The golf range will be closed for approximately two to three months, and we will incur a loss of about S$300,000."

Channel NewsAsia understands that at least five trees were uprooted and three had fallen on cars. The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it received two calls for assistance - one at Turf Club Road, and the other at Vanda Link nearby. No one was trapped or injured, a spokesperson said. SCDF also pitched in to help clear obstructions on the road.

Yazi Bandi Ng shared pictures of the aftermath, as well as a video of hailstones which interrupted his coaches' meeting at The Rainforest Sports Hub.

Channel NewsAsia producer Keval Singh was stuck in a traffic jam caused by fallen tree branches that littered the roads. "At least one tree had been uprooted, some others had parts of their trunks or branches broken and were blocking one or more lanes along Dunearn Road. SCDF and police personnel were on site to direct traffic onto Bukit Timah Road where possible. Others managed to squeeze through a single lane to continue towards the city," he recounted.

He said several bus passengers, including students from schools like Hwa Chong Institution disembarked and had to walk, although pavements were blocked by fallen branches as well.

He also saw a brick wall at a property had collapsed. "No sign whatsoever to explain its fall though – not even the tree next to it," he said.

A woman, who declined to be named, sent the following photos and said the storm was "like a hurricane came". She, too, was stuck in slow-moving traffic around Bukit Timah and Dunearn Road, and said there were "lots of police cars" on the scene.

Buildings hit as hailstorm pelts Turf City
Today Online 15 Oct 14;

SINGAPORE — A heavy thunderstorm pelted Turf City with hailstones yesterday afternoon, felling trees and causing damage that could prove costly for some businesses there.

The owner of All Star Golf Range, Mr Tendy Tsai, told Channel NewsAsia that the severe thunderstorm happened at around 2.30pm and caused some structural damage to the facility, but no one was injured.

Mr Tsai said he was waiting for the surveyor to assess the damage.

“The golf range will be closed for approximately two to three months and we will incur a loss of about S$300,000,” he added.

Mr Derrick Tan, operations manager at Sunny Heights, a daycare centre for pets, said he thought the afternoon storm was just going to be like any other. “But about 10 minutes later, we could see our tentages flying around outside our office. There were also small hailstones raining down,” he said. “At that time, from our CCTV, we could see trees falling down. One fell on the edge of our roofs and caused minor dents and cracks on the glasses.

“But our pavilion, where people can relax with their pets, and the walkway leading to it were completely covered by a tree that collapsed.”

The centre’s water pipes have also burst, which means business will be closed for a period of time, Mr Tan said. “But I’m not sure for how long we’ll be closed. Luckily, no pets and nobody were injured.”

Mr Aung Kolatt, 31, who also works at Sunny Heights, said when he arrived at the centre to help clear the fallen trees, he was shocked at the extent of the damage caused.

“We helped to cut and clear the trees,” said Mr Aung. “We have been working for about two-and-a-half hours (but) we haven’t made much progress.” CHANNEL NEWSASIA, with ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY ELGIN CHONG

Car dealership damaged by freak thunderstorm
Loke Kok Fai Channel NewsAsia 16 Oct 14;

SINGAPORE: Car dealers at the Grandstand Car Mall at Turf City are taking stock of the damage from Tuesday's (Oct 14) freak thunderstorm in Bukit Timah. Some people who were at Turf City that day said the storm brought small hailstones, and parts of a golf range was left in tatters.

Mr Rolland Ng, director of ST Carz, sent Channel NewsAsia CCTV footage showing parts of the roofing collapsing amid wild winds and heavy rain at 2:25pm. Metal bars and polycarbonate sheets were dislodged. The dealership is at the basement car park of Turf City.

No one was injured, but Mr Ng estimates the damage at around S$5,000. He said several other dealerships also suffered damage from collapsing roofs, and even falling trees.

While staff from the Grandstand helped clear away the debris, Mr Ng said he thinks the management is unlikely to compensate the dealers.

- CNA/dl