Battling the rains in S'pore

SINGAPORE - She was on her way to the university when she received a picture from a friend on her mobile phone.

It showed the science faculty block at the National University of Singapore flooded, with water up to the knees.

Rainwater even cascaded off higher floors into the basement, like a waterfall.

"I was shocked and decided to turn back home and return to school later," said Ms Tammy Ng, 19, an undergraduate.

Thursday's heavy morning downpour over the central and western parts of Singapore caught many by surprise.

It flooded a stretch of the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) towards East Coast Parkway (ECP), with waters reaching a depth of half-a-metre and forcing all four lanes of the expressway to be closed. Traffic came to a standstill.

According to national water agency PUB, the flood waters subsided within 40 minutes.

Flash floods were also reported at the junctions of Commonwealth Drive and Commonwealth Avenue, Alexandra Road and Delta Road, Lorong Kismis, South Bridge Road and Maxwell Road, and Cuscaden Road and Tomlinson Road.

Along Dunearn Road, a large tree fell on two cars, causing a massive jam. Luckily, no one was injured, reported The Straits Times online.

Record breaking

The heaviest rainfall was recorded at Kent Ridge - 102.8mm from 8.10am to 9.40am, said the PUB.

It peaked between 8.15am and 8.50am, with a rainfall of 82.2mm.

The morning downpour caused heavy flooding in some parts of the NUS campus, including the science and engineering faculties.

Cleaner Kamsinah Jaki, 61, told The New Paper that Thursday's floods were "the worst I've seen in the five years I've worked here".

"It was knee high by 9am. The water even seeped into the lecture theatres, soaking the carpets.

"But the waters subsided by 2pm so everything went back to normal. Luckily no one got hurt," she added in Malay.

There was a silver lining to all that rain and the beneficiaries were the tow service owners, who had their hands full.

"To others it may have not have been a good day, but for us, it was okay," said Mr Steve Lim, who owns X-Speed Mobile Recovery.

"We were very busy on Thursday morning. All four of our recovery vehicles were out on jobs because a lot of places were affected by the flash floods, stalling many cars."

He said he saw a 10 per cent increase in business.

The National Environment Agency said on its website that for the next few days, thundery showers were expected mainly in the mornings and early afternoons.

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