100mm of rain fell within 3 hours, causing floods

SINGAPORE: About 100 millimetres (mm) of rain fell between 8am and 11am on Wednesday, causing flash floods in some parts of Singapore.

National water agency, PUB, said the amount of rain recorded was approximately more than 60 per cent of the average monthly rainfall for June (average rainfall for June is 162mm).

When the rain first started at about 8am, PUB mobilised its contractors and staff to be on standby at hotspots including Cuscaden Road, Wilby Road, Jalan Haji Alias and Little India which were likely to flood.

It alerted Traffic Police at about 9.15am, when the rain intensified.

PUB also sent its officers and contractors to help stranded motorists, residents whose homes were flooded and owners of premises at affected locations.

At the Upper Bukit Timah area, PUB said, its officers operated the flood gate and this helped to mitigate flooding in that area.

PUB also sent SMS alerts to the management of condominiums located in the area when the water level sensor reached 75 per cent at about 9.30am.

A second more intense storm fell over the central part of Singapore at about 10.30am.

The worst—hit was the Orchard Road/Scotts Road intersection, where the flood waters reached a depth of 300 mm.

The waters subsided within one hour, at about 11.30am.

The last known major flooding at the Orchard Road/Scotts Road junction was in 1984.

PUB is investigating the cause of the flooding at Orchard Road.

It said investigations can only be carried out when the water level in the drains has fully subsided.

In the meantime, PUB and its contractors cleared up the debris on the roads as well as helped owners of affected buildings to pump out water from the basements.

PUB advised the public to exercise caution as flash floods may still occur in the event of heavy storms.

Ms Devika Misra, who was stuck at Orchard’s Liat Towers because of the heavy rain, said the water was knee—high.

"Orchard Road, opposite Lido, is flooded. And there are about half a dozen cars marooned, they can’t go forward. And there is a person whom I think is from the Civil Defence Service who is wading into the water to rescue the people, to get them out of the car," she said.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said they dispatched two fire engines to the junction of Orchard Road and Paterson Road.

They helped about 60 passengers from two SBS Transit double—decker buses and about 10 people from six cars stranded in their vehicles to safety. In some cases, SCDF personnel had to carry children out of the vehicles. None were injured.

SCDF personnel were also called in to pump water out of the flooded basement 1 of Liat Towers.

Alex spoke to MediaCorp from his office at Goldbell Towers, which faces the Newton MRT station.

"The water is too deep. Everyone is stopping and reversing along Bukit Timah Road."

Alex added that at least five cars broke down, and other motorists had to find alternative routes.

Other parts of Singapore were also flooded, including Coronation Road West, Fourth Avenue and Veerasamy Road.

The public can obtain the latest weather reports, including heavy rain warnings, by tuning in to radio broadcasts, calling NEA’s weather forecast hotline at 6542 7788, visiting the NEA website at www.nea.gov.sg or accessing the mobile weather service.

The public can also call PUB’s 24—hour Call Centre at 1800—284 6600 to report obstructions in drains or to check the flood situation. — CNA/jy/ir