Another torrential downpour early on Friday morning once again triggered flash floods across the island. However, this time, it seems Orchard Road was spared — instead areas like Upper Thomson Road, Bugis and Jalan Boon Lay seemed to be hardest hit.
Heavy rain was also reported in Changi, Eunos, Jurong East, Tampines and Sims Avenue.
A tree reported fell outside Orchard Central, near the Somerset MRT station on Orchard Road, blocking three of the five lanes. But no floods were reported in the shopping belt.
The Straits Times reported that four people were injured when falling trees or tree branches landed on the cars they were in.
Channel News Asia also reported that SCDF personnel had to be called in to evacuate 18 children from a childcare centre at Telok Kurau Lorong G. SCDF personnel were also activated to rescue a passenger and a driver trapped in a taxi which was stuck in floodwaters at the junction of Macpherson Rd and Kampong Ampat.
As expected, the downpour also caused morning rush hour traffic on all the major expressways in Singapore to come to a virtual standstill.
Social media sites like Facebook and micro-blogging site Twitter were awash with flood photos and users exchanging pictures. A dedicated channel, #sgflood, was also set up on Twitter for users to track each other’s comments and photos.
Twitter user artiwill said, “Maybe they should just dam “Sungei Thomson” on both ends and promote it as the next frontier of waterfront living.”
Another called DrenBoy quipped, “Who says Orchard has all the fun?” while nat_sora said “Yuan Ching Rd was a little river when I went through it 30 minutes ago!”
The heavy rain recalled last Wednesday’s massive floods in many areas of central Singapore, including Orchard Road where flooded basement carparks and shops caused businesses to lose millions of dollars.
On Thursday, the PUB announced that it is spending $25,000 to install five debris-trap gratings at Stamford Canal to prevent future floods. All five will be in place by today.
However, the spate of recent floods begs the question if there needs to be a major re-look and overhaul of the drainage system across the island.
Last year, Minister for Environment and Water Resources Yaacob Ibrahim described the flash foods at Bukit Timah as a “freak” event that happened “only once in 50 years”.
We’ve now had two in barely over a week.
Later.. along Kampong Bahru... behind my home.. another fallen tree and it blocked the entire 2-way road. And auxiliary police had to direct the vehicles to make U-turns and travel another route.