Drains, canals near capacity after heavy afternoon rain

PUB issues flood warnings for 12 locations as water levels there hit at least 90% capacity

A cyclist at a sheltered walkway in Tampines Central 3 yesterday. More wet weather is expected for the second half of this month, as the monsoon rain band is forecast to remain over South-east Asia.
A cyclist at a sheltered walkway in Tampines Central 3 yesterday. More wet weather is expected for the second half of this month, as the monsoon rain band is forecast to remain over South-east Asia.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Heavy rain for the second consecutive day raised water levels in drains and canals across Singapore to near capacity yesterday afternoon, although there was no repeat of the flooding on major roads that occurred earlier this month.

National water agency PUB issued flood warnings for 12 locations around the island in a one-hour span from around 3.30pm to 4.30pm. These included Serangoon Avenue 2, Yio Chu Kang Road, Choa Chu Kang Avenue 1 and Sime Darby Centre.

Water levels in drains and canals at these locations had reached at least 90 per cent capacity, with PUB advising the public to avoid the areas for the next hour.

The Straits Times also observed ponding at several locations in Tampines, such as on the walkways along Tampines Central 3 and at Sun Plaza Park, as well as in Pasir Ris.

This was the second day in a row that PUB had issued flood warnings in the wake of heavy rain. On Saturday, it warned of potential floods in Upper Paya Lebar Road and Seletar Road.

The National Environment Agency had also forecast heavy rain on both weekend afternoons.

The Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) said last Tuesday that more wet weather is expected for the second half of this month, as the monsoon rain band is forecast to remain over South-east Asia.

Widespread thundery showers and gusty winds are also expected on a few days between the pre-dawn hours and early morning.

On the whole, rainfall for this month is forecast to be above average over most parts of Singapore.

On Nov 2, flash floods lasting for about half an hour broke out in Upper Paya Lebar Road, Lorong Gambir and Mount Vernon Road. A tree had also fallen in MacPherson Road towards Paya Lebar, causing it to be impassable.

The PUB said then that the heaviest rainfall of around 131.4mm recorded in Tai Seng from 2.40pm to 6.10pm was more than half of Singapore's average monthly rainfall in November.

The intense thundery shower that day was the result of strong solar heating of land areas coupled with the convergence of winds over Singapore, the MSS said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2020, with the headline 'Drains, canals near capacity after heavy afternoon rain'. Print Edition | Subscribe