Flash flood at Upper Thomson Road due to heavy rain; second time in two months

Workers from a nearby construction site stand along the road to direct traffic away from the water during a flash flood at the intersection between Upper Thomson Road and Thomson Ridge on Jan 19, 2017.
Workers from a nearby construction site stand along the road to direct traffic away from the water during a flash flood at the intersection between Upper Thomson Road and Thomson Ridge on Jan 19, 2017.ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
Cars are seen on Upper Thomson Road during a flash flood on Jan 19, 2017.
Cars are seen on Upper Thomson Road during a flash flood on Jan 19, 2017.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ RICKY GABRIEL
Cars are seen during a flash flood on Upper Thomson Road on Jan 19, 2017.
Cars are seen during a flash flood on Upper Thomson Road on Jan 19, 2017.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ RICKY GABRIEL
Workers from a nearby construction site stand along the road to direct traffic away from the water during a flash flood at the intersection between Upper Thomson Road and Thomson Ridge on Jan 19, 2017.
Workers from a nearby construction site stand along the road to direct traffic away from the water during a flash flood at the intersection between Upper Thomson Road and Thomson Ridge on Jan 19, 2017.ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
Workers from a nearby construction site stand along the road to direct traffic away from the water during a flash flood at the intersection between Upper Thomson Road and Thomson Ridge on Jan 19, 2017.
Workers from a nearby construction site stand along the road to direct traffic away from the water during a flash flood at the intersection between Upper Thomson Road and Thomson Ridge on Jan 19, 2017.ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

SINGAPORE - A flash flood was reported on Upper Thomson Road following heavy rain on Thursday (Jan 19) afternoon.

National water agency PUB said that a flash flood occurred at the junction of Upper Thomson Road and Jalan Lembah Thomson from 3.44pm to 4.05pm due to intense rain over central Singapore.

"The shophouses along Upper Thomson Road, near Jalan Keli, were not affected by this flood incident," PUB said in a statement.

The parking area in front of several shops along Upper Thomson Road was submerged in shin-deep waters, but there was no repeat of last year’s Christmas Eve flooding.

Flood waters had then rose to waist-levels and threatened to enter Chicken House, a restaurant which faces a construction site.

A waitress from Chicken House told The Straits Times that flood waters subsided about 30 minutes after it began raining heavily. Most of Upper Thomson Road was spared by the flash flood.

Mr Ricky Gabriel, who was at the UOB Bank on Upper Thomson Road when the flood happened, said that traffic was badly affected, especially as one of the roads in the area had closed a while back due to construction.

"Traffic was slow, drivers were impatient and honking," he said. "The through road outside the OUB bank is now a dead end, so all cars had to back out of there.

"Because the water was rising , they really wanted to get out of there fast," Mr Gabriel, 43, added.

The National Environment Agency had warned that moderate to heavy thundery showers with gusty winds were expected between 3.30pm and 4.30pm.

The flood was affecting a few stretches of the road, including the direction towards the Seletar Expressway after Jalan Pelatina, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) tweeted.

Traffic was backed up till MacRitchie Viaduct, LTA said.

The road towards Newton after Bright Hill Drive was also affected and the congestion extended till Sin Ming Avenue.

LTA updated that the flash flood was over at 4.05pm. Mr Gabriel said at about 4.15pm that the flood appeared to be receding but it was still raining heavily.

The flood last Christmas eve affected at least eight businesses in the Upper Thomson area, one of which suffered an estimated $30,000 in losses.

PUB later found that construction firm Sato Kogyo, which is responsible for the construction of the Upper Thomson MRT station, had carried out unauthorised works that affected the public drainage system there.

Since the Christmas eve flood, Sato Kogyo has carried out temporary improvement works to increase the drainage capacity in the area, PUB said in its statement on Thursday.

These include changing the drain covers to open ones to facilitate the flow of water, and placing sandbags at several locations to prevent the water from flowing into the shophouses.

PUB earlier said it will take action against Sato Kogyo under the Sewerage and Drainage Act.