SINGAPORE - An "under-sized" drain in Upper Thomson that is currently being expanded to help with flood management was not enough to prevent yesterday's downpour from flooding the area again.
A joint statement from PUB and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said it would take until the third quarter of this year for contractor Sato Kogyo to widen the existing canal located along Upper Thomson Road and Jalan Keli.
The statement said Sato Kogyo has been widening it to enhance the drainage system and improve overall flood resilience in the area.
"LTA has also instructed the contractor to expedite the completion of the canal widening along Jalan Keli," it said.
In the meantime, Sato Kogyo has changed the drain covers to facilitate the flow of water, and placed sandbags at several locations to prevent the water from flowing into the shophouses in the area.
PUB had earlier said it would be taking action against Sato Koygo as the temporary diversion drain constructed by the contractor within the worksite of the upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line was found to be under-sized, and the contractor did not inform PUB prior to the commencement of these works.
Yesterday, heavy rain occurred from 3.10pm to 4pm, recording a total rainfall of 59.2mm.
Even with the anti-flood measures, a flash flood occurred at the junction of Upper Thomson Road and Jalan Lembah Thomson for about 20 minutes.
No shops were affected.
Store manager of Tomoe Japanese Cuisine, Miss Susan Poon, said several cars parked outside her shop were affected by the knee-high water.
She told The New Paper: "We are lucky our restaurant is on high ground. We see a lot of floods here recently. If there is heavy rain, it is bound to flood. Business is also affected because customers cannot come if there is a flood."
The statement said the flood was from 3.44pm until 4.05pm.
The shops near Jalan Keli that were affected by the flood on Christmas Eve, which are located on lower ground, were not affected yesterday.
'NOTHING WE CAN DO'
An employee at ice cream parlour Salted Caramel told TNP their shop has not taken any precautionary measures despite being affected by the flood last month.
She said: "We are worried because if there is a flood, there is nothing we can do. Maybe we will try to use something to block the gaps under the doors."
Mr Jamal Mohammed, 50, an employee at The Roti Prata House, said yesterday's flood was about ankle-deep, but it did not flow into their eatery.
"The rain last month was much heavier (compared to yesterday's), so we knew it wouldn't flood. If the rain is heavier, we would get worried and start moving goods up."
Mr Jason Tan, store manager of Tom Yum Mama, a Thai eatery located along the same stretch, said the restaurant had just opened on Dec 30.
"The flood last month affected the construction (of the shop), but LTA said they would take precautionary measures to prevent floods, so we are not too worried," he said.
Mr Erwin Budiawan, 27, store manager of cafe Badoque, said the sandbags placed by Sato Kogyo had lessened his worries.
He said: "Of course we are scared of flood, but compared to last time, there are more people taking care of it now. We know what to expect.
"But we are still worried that sales will be affected."
None of the shops that TNP spoke to had taken precautionary measures of their own.
This article was first published on January 20, 2017.
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