Peak hour chaos due to flash floods

This article is more than 12 months old

Commuters brave almost waist-level flood waters as some vehicles stalled on the streets

Torrential rain wreaked havoc in eastern Singapore yesterday morning, as several vehicles stalled in flood waters that rose to almost waist-level in some areas.

Some drivers were seen pushing their stalled vehicles, while commuters waded amid floating bags of rubbish and debris in the flood waters.

The flash flood near the Paya Lebar Fire Station extended to the Paya Lebar MRT station, blocking access to the taxi stand and bus stop.

The only way to enter the station was wading through water.

A video on Facebook showed water nearly engulfing bus stop seats at Bedok North Avenue 4 and the bottom half of a traffic light was submerged.

Mr Marcus Oh, 22, who was on a bus heading to class at Lasalle College of the Arts from Bedok during heavy rain, said water overflowed from Bedok Canal and streamed into the bus and rose to ankle-level.

After the bus stalled, the passengers had to get off, and Mr Oh walked barefoot to the bus stop with water almost reaching his waist.

"It was so chaotic. Passengers had no choice but to brave the floods with bags on top of their heads," he told The New Paper.

"Some of us had to stand in a row on the bus-stop seats.

"Some SCDF (Singapore Civil Defence Force) guys were helping people and directing traffic."


SCDF later said that 30 officers from the nearby Changi Fire Station helped seven drivers and pushed four vehicles, including a lorry, stuck at a flooded stretch on Upper Changi Road.

National water agency PUB said nine areas were affected by flash floods: Tampines Road, Tampines Avenue 12, Arumugam Road, the junction of Sims Avenue and Eunos Road 8, the junction of Sims Avenue and Tanjong Katong Road, Jalan Nipah, the junction of Bedok Road and New Upper Changi Road, the junction of Upper Changi Road and Bedok North Avenue 4, and the junction of Bedok Road and Upper Changi Road East.

The first flood occurred at 8.30am, with the floods subsiding by 10.30am. Each lasted for 15 mins to an hour.

PUB also issued "high flood risk" alerts for several waterways, such as Sungei Tongkang, Sungei Kallang and Bedok Canal, where water levels were close to being full.

The heaviest rainfall was recorded by PUB in Kim Chuan Road, where it rained from 6.20am till 10.25am.

At its peak, between 8am and 8.30am, it had an intensity of 56mm per hour and reached up to 118.8mm, about half of Singapore's average monthly rainfall in January, within four hours.

PUB said the poor weather was due to the north-east monsoon and was aggravated by the development of a Sumatran windstorm over the Strait of Malacca, which headed eastwards.

The Land Transport Authority's Traffic News Twitter feed said accidents were reported on the Pan-Island Expressway, Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway, Tampines Expressway, and Dunearn Road during the storm.

Thundery showers are forecast for the next few days, but it is not certain whether further flooding will occur. The public are encouraged to download PUB's MyWaters application to get updates on flood risks.