Check out roads, in case of a storm

SINGAPORE - You can now check whether roads in flood-prone areas such as Chai Chee and Newton Circus are under water in a storm, before heading out.

National water agency PUB has doubled the number of closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera feeds that can be viewed on its website, from 24 to 49.

The cameras' locations span the island from Orchard Road to Shenton Way, Marina South, Bedok, Boon Lay and even Punggol.

People can choose specific areas and the images are updated every five minutes. The camera footage is also available through the PUB's MyWaters app for mobile devices.

A PUB spokesman said the images would help people assess road conditions and traffic during storms.

It has installed 136 CCTV cameras across the island so far, and will "continually review the need to make more images available", said the PUB.

Administrative assistant Daniel Kok, 35, said it was easy to assess the CCTV images using the mobile app. "But it would be even better if we could get flood alerts on the roads based on the CCTVs."

Currently, the PUB sends free SMS alerts to subscribers who want to be notified if water levels rise in specific canals or storm drains.

Separately, the PUB may also install video motion detection systems in Singapore's closed drains to help improve its flood management.

It already has a network of CCTV cameras and sensors in major drains and canals to monitor their water levels and site conditions around the clock.

When asked, the PUB spokesman said that adding video motion detection algorithms to the CCTVs would improve the agency's work.

"For example, should the system detect the water level crossing a certain mark, or the presence of objects inside the canal, alerts could be sent to PUB to zoom in on a particular CCTV to focus our attention on the location."


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