Singaporean shopping in Johor Baru: Floods turned road into river
S'porean at JB mall when flash floods hit on Monday:
He goes to Johor Baru up to three times a month to shop and dine.
On Monday, Mr Saifudin Sharip, a 42-year-old Singaporean who works in sales, was unprepared for the sight that greeted him and his friend when they arrived at Johor Bahru City Square mall at around 1pm.
He told The New Paper yesterday: "The road near the mall was flooded with murky, brown water.
"I was stuck there. The road looked like a fast-flowing river."
Monday's flash flood in JB occurred after a two-hour downpour. Jalan Wong Ah Fook, which is near the shopping centre and about a 10-minute drive from the Causeway, was one of the worst-hit areas.
South JB police chief Assistant Commissioner Sulaiman Salleh said on Monday that water levels rose to as high as 1.5m, causing the stretch to be inaccessible to vehicles.
He added that 20 cars on the road were stuck in the flood until the water level started to recede at 2.15pm.
BUSINESS AS USUAL
TNP visited the affected area yesterday morning and found that it was business as usual for most of the shops in the area.
The two malls at Jalan Wong Ah Fook - Johor Bahru City Square and Komtar JBCC - were bustling with activity.
Traffic was also smooth-flowing.
Workers at two stores were sweeping muddy water out of their shops.
Chairs and other pieces of furniture had been placed on the common five-foot-way to dry. There were also mud-stained electrical appliances, including a television set, laid out on the ground.
When approached, the workers declined to be interviewed, saying that "there was still a lot of things to do".
A Malaysian administrative worker in a nearby building said that Monday's flood had surprised her.
Identifying herself only as Ms Rashidah, 25, she said: "The water never rises here even when it rains heavily. But I think the flood took place because of the construction work by the roadside."
Officers at the JB Sentral Police Station told TNP that they did not receive any reports about stranded Singapore-registered vehicles.
Mr Saifudin, who had taken a bus to JB, said the floods forced him to abandon his plans to go to another JB shopping centre, KSL City Mall.
He said: "The traffic jam made it impossible to move around. Vehicles were stuck bumper to bumper as they had to be diverted away from the flood.
"From where I was, I saw 10 cars and taxis stuck in the flood waters. I was relieved to see that some passers-by managed to help the motorists to safety and no one was hurt."
No change to Linggiu Reservoir water level
The heavy downpour may have flooded parts of Johor Baru on Monday but it has not helped to alleviate the situation at Johor's Linggiu Reservoir.
Responding to The New Paper's queries yesterday, Singapore's national water agency, PUB, said the heavy rains had occurred in a different catchment area from the reservoir, which is further upstream.
Its spokesman said: "While there has been some rain in the Linggiu Reservoir catchment, the water levels remain largely the same at around 43 per cent."
TNP reported on Saturday that the water level in the reservoir had dropped to an historic low and Singapore's water supply could be affected.
Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli, who visited the reservoir last week, has urged Singaporeans to do their part to conserve water after the water level there dropped from 55 per cent in August to its current level.