Rain and flash floods cause traffic chaos

SINGAPORE - The thundery showers over Singapore yesterday are expected to continue over the next few mornings and early afternoons, according to the National Environment Agency (NEA).

Yesterday, heavy rains fell over the central and western parts of the island in the morning, causing flash floods that slowed traffic in several areas.

In a statement, NEA attributed the heavy rainfall to the "convergence of winds over the region".

Among the worst-hit areas was Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) towards East Coast Parkway, where floodwater reached a depth of 0.5m at about 9am. All four lanes of the expressway were closed to traffic as a result.

The flood, which subsided after 40 minutes, occurred after drains overflowed due to "the intense rainfall and rising tide", explained a spokesman for national water agency PUB.

Other areas affected by flash floods included Commonwealth Avenue, the junction of South Bridge Road and Maxwell Road, the junction of Cuscaden Road and Tomlinson Road, Alexandra Road towards Lower Delta Road, and Lorong Kismis.

In a Facebook post yesterday afternoon, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan uploaded a photo that showed his "regular jogging track under water".

He said that expansion of Sungei Pandan Kechil, which serves the affected section of the AYE, will have to be expedited.

Another PUB spokesman said yesterday that upgrading works on a section of Sungei Pandan Kechil will begin this month and be completed this year.

The heaviest rainfall recorded yesterday was at Kent Ridge, with a level of 102.88mm from 8.10am to 9.40am.

A Straits Times online report said that some parts of the National University of Singapore campus in Kent Ridge were also flooded.

Along Dunearn Road, a large tree fell across two lanes and onto two cars. No one was hurt, but it caused a massive jam along Bukit Timah Road, added the report.

A Land Transport Authority spokesman said that traffic conditions on all affected roads returned to normal at about 1pm yesterday.


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