Singapore

Monday's heavy rain damaged cars, flooded cabins of buses

On Monday morning, Mr Rodney Ham believed he could drive his Mercedes-Benz through the rising water at the junction of Upper Changi Road and Bedok North Avenue 4.

"The engine choked a few times and the car stalled," Mr Ham, 60, managing director of an automation firm, told The Straits Times yesterday.

His year-old vehicle had to be towed away, and may need to have its engine replaced.

Monday morning's intense downpour resulted in flash floods in nine areas of Singapore, partially submerging cars, flooding the cabins of buses and disrupting some businesses.

Garages said that flood-damaged cars can cost anywhere between thousands and tens of thousands of dollars to repair, and insurance companies may instead write them off.

Mr Francis Lim, president of the Singapore Motor Workshop Association, said: "Flooded cars are tricky. Electrical components and computers installed in the floorboards and side panels of the cars may also be shorted."

The floods started at 8.30am and took two hours to subside, keeping towing services busy.

Mr Teo Kian Hock, 57, who runs a towing company under his name, has a fleet of eight trucks that usually assist about 20 vehicles a day.

On Monday they helped 40.

Meanwhile, heavy rain fell over many areas in Singapore yesterday, with flash floods occurring briefly at a junction in Tanjong Pagar.

Rain fell across the island from around 4pm, with thundery showers in areas like Bukit Merah, Clementi, Queenstown and in the city area.

Flash floods occurred at the junction of Craig Road and Tanjong Pagar road around 5.15pm, subsiding after about 10 minutes.

The four-day weather outlook on the National Environment Agency's website forecasts afternoon and evening thundery showers for today, with a minimum temperature of 23 deg C.

Tomorrow, this could go as low as 22 deg C, with periods of moderate to heavy showers, accompanied by windy conditions and occasional thunder. - ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY LYDIA LAM

Environment