Get ready for Singapour

Get ready for Singapour

SINGAPORE- When it pours, questions pelt the mind of Liat Towers' building supervisor Chik Hai Lam.

Will the building stay dry? Or will heavy rain - expected this weekend - breach the flood defences?

In June 2010, heavy rains led to a flood which inundated basement shops at Liat Towers. So when it rains heavily nowadays, even Mr Chik's boss is worried. "He'll call and ask me, 'How? Did it flood?'" Mr Chik said.

"We have a maintenance guy who stays till late at night. Others are on standby if extra help is needed."

The National Environment Agency (NEA) issued a heavy rain advisory on Wednesday, warning of wet weather this weekend.

Up to 30 per cent more rain is expected overall this month. So far, north-east Singapore has been the wettest, getting up to 98 per cent of the monthly average rainfall.

But Mr Chik is confident of Liat Towers' watertight defences: They've installed a floodgate, erected a perimeter wall and upgraded the water discharge pumps. They have done whatever they could to ensure the shops stay dry.

Over at Lucky Plaza, shopkeepers The New Paper spoke to were unaware of the projected wet weekend.

Basement shops in the building were also hit by the June 2010 flood.

A sales assistant, who wanted to be known only as Sharon, said: "We didn't hear anything from the building management."

Mr Jwee Quek, the man behind Lucky Plaza's pop-up floodgate, said it has not been used since March, when it was installed.

The project manager with Parafoil Design and Engineering also helped to build and install the floodgate at Liat Towers.


Since Orchard Road businesses suffered millions of dollars worth of damage in the June 2010 floods, Mr Quek has overseen more than 40 projects.

Among the 17 projects on his plate now: Putting up flood defences at the underground walkway linking Bedok Mall to Bedok MRT station.

When completed, the four-tonne, 8m-wide and 3m-high barrier in Basement 2 will seal the underpass.

Other rain-hit business owners include Mr Andy Ng, 34, and his brother, Adrian, 37, who own AL Tyres Cooperation, a car-tyre replacement specialist.

On Oct 20, floods blocked the roads leading to their Paya Lebar Road warehouse. "We lost about $10,000 in sales that day," Mr Andy Ng said.

Cars were unable to leave the warehouse and staff were sent to dissuade car owners from entering the premises.

The brothers were unable to install any system to flood-proof their property. Mr Ng said: "The Government improved the drains nearby, but (each time it pours), the water level rises immediately and the drains flood quickly."

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