Craig Road flash flood: Eateries take it in stride

The junction of Craig Road and Tanjong Pagar Road where a flash flood occurred on Wednesday. The junction is one of 55 areas PUB identified as hot spots that might experience flash floods due to intense storms.
The junction of Craig Road and Tanjong Pagar Road where a flash flood occurred on Wednesday. The junction is one of 55 areas PUB identified as hot spots that might experience flash floods due to intense storms.ST PHOTO: LIM MIN ZHANG

Many say flooding rarely occurs there, though rain still had impact on business

Wednesday's flash flood in Craig Road led to an eatery in the area having to close for an hour to allow rainwater to clear.

However, many of the food and beverage outlets in the area told The Straits Times yesterday that flooding is a rare occurrence.

The Craig Road-Tanjong Pagar Road junction, where many F&B outlets are located, is one of 55 areas identified by national water agency PUB as hot spots that might experience flash floods due to intense storms or specific conditions such as road depressions.

One F&B establishment located at the site of the flooding said rainwater flowed into its premises on Wednesday. "The flood brought along with it leaves and cigarette butts, so we had to spend an hour clearing up the shop, even though the flood subsided in 15 minutes," said the F&B outlet's manager, who declined to be named.

"Not only could no customers come in during this period, but the flood alert also discouraged people from even coming to the area."

Five other eateries in the area said they did not experience flooding in their stretch of the road. However, the rain still had an impact on business.

Mr Dennis Bonaobra, 29, the manager of burger restaurant Two Blur Guys, said: "When it rains, our customer numbers can drop by as much as 80 per cent, but it's not due to flooding (if it occurs). Rather, they are looking for something hot to drink, like soup, instead."

He added that he has not seen water entering his restaurant on rainy days for the last three years.

RARE OCCURRENCE

Maybe it is not worth taxpayers' money to upgrade the drainage system if the flooding happens so rarely.

SECURITY OFFICER ABDULAZIZ TAIB, 64, who has worked in the Tanjong Pagar area for more than 20 years. Flooding along the road is not common, he said, noting that it could happen two or three times a year.

A previous flash flood in the same hot spot caused by intense rain occurred on Jan 9, affecting two lanes along a 30m stretch.

Director of PUB's catchment and waterways department Yeo Keng Soon said last week that it is not practical to design drains to accommodate every extreme storm, as this would lead to significantly higher costs and the use of a lot more land.

Security officer Abdulaziz Taib, 64, who has worked in the Tanjong Pagar area for more than 20 years, said flooding along the road is not common, noting it could happen two or three times a year. "Maybe it is not worth taxpayers' money to upgrade the drainage system if the flooding happens so rarely."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2018, with the headline 'Craig Road flash flood: Eateries take it in stride'. Print Edition | Subscribe