SCDF officers to the rescue as flood waters rise

This article is more than 12 months old

Vehicles, drivers stranded in flash flood at Upper Changi Road helped by off-duty firefighters

Changi Fire Station firefighters were having a routine equipment drill when a guardhouse sentry saw a car stuck in a flash flood at Upper Changi Road yesterday morning.

When Corporal Muhammad Shahrukh Selvaraj, 21, alerted his commanding officer, about 30 officers were mobilised to help people affected.

About half of them helped to direct traffic away from flooded areas while the others helped drivers of seven stranded vehicles to safety. They also pushed four vehicles, including a lorry, to drier ground.

Fifteen of them were off-duty firefighters who were about to head home after their 24-hour shift but remained behind to help.

The station's commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Jeffrey Ng, 41, said: "The marshalling was very crucial. Without it, more drivers would have been stuck in the flash floods because they underestimated how deep the water is."

One petite woman driver was piggybacked out of the flood by an off-duty fireman as the water had reached her waist.

In a media briefing yesterday evening, water agency PUB said the flash floods in nine locations in eastern Singapore (see map) had occurred in low-lying areas with drainage works in progress except for one location.

Its director of catchment and waterways, Mr Yeo Keng Soon, said the drains were working and cleared the flood waters after the rain stopped.

The drains were serving their purpose and draining the water. They were working at full efficiency this morning. PUB’s director of catchment and waterways, Mr Yeo Keng Soon

He added that the floods were caused by the intense downpour, and investigations so far have not shown any obstruction in the drainage system.

"The drains were serving their purpose and draining the water," Mr Yeo said. "They were working at full efficiency this morning."

The eight affected areas undergoing drainage improvement works are Tampines Road, Arumugam Road, Sims Avenue/Eunos Road 8, Sims Avenue/Tanjong Katong Road, Jalan Nipah, Bedok Road/New Upper Changi Road, Upper Changi Road/Bedok North Avenue 4 and Bedok Road/Upper Changi Road East.

The works will be completed between the third quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2019, after which drainage in these areas is expected to improve.

Investigations are still ongoing for Tampines Avenue 12, the only area with no ongoing drainage works.

The affected areas are low-lying, though not considered flood-prone.

Mr Yeo also encouraged motorists and pedestrians to wait it out when there is flooding. Flash floods usually take 15 minutes to an hour to subside. It would be better for them to stay put than to brave the flood waters.