'I was afraid to get trapped': Drivers flee flooded cars in Pasir Ris as water rises to their waists

Car left stranded in flood waters at the junction of Pasir Ris Drive 12 and Tampines Avenue 10 on Aug 20, 2021.
Car left stranded in flood waters at the junction of Pasir Ris Drive 12 and Tampines Avenue 10 on Aug 20, 2021.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Cars left stranded in flood waters at the junction of Pasir Ris Drive 12 and Tampines Avenue 10 on Aug 20, 2021.
Cars left stranded in flood waters at the junction of Pasir Ris Drive 12 and Tampines Avenue 10 on Aug 20, 2021.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Personnel from SCDF and PUB communicating on site at the junction of Pasir Ris Drive 12 and Tampines Avenue 10, on Aug 20, 2021.
Personnel from SCDF and PUB communicating on site at the junction of Pasir Ris Drive 12 and Tampines Avenue 10, on Aug 20, 2021.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Rainwater seeped into her rental car, rising above her ankles within five minutes.

At that time, Mrs Nick Ang, 56, a Gojek driver, had a passenger in the backseat.

As the Mazda 3 began filling with more water on Friday morning (Aug 20), they decided they would abandon it in the middle of the road.

"I thought I could step on the gas and speed through the flood, but I didn't realise the middle was so deep and my car would get stuck," she said.

"As I watched the water rise, I didn't panic. I threw my valuables into a paper bag and prepared to run."

Mrs Ang was one of 13 drivers whose vehicles had become partially submerged and stuck at the junction of Tampines Avenue 10 and Pasir Ris Drive 12 on Friday, after heavy rain caused a flash flood there at about 7am.

Despite their quick decision to leave, water had begun filling Mrs Ang's car quickly, soon reaching their waists as the flood waters outside the stuck vehicle rose amid torrential rainfall.

Mrs Ang said she told her passenger to open the door of the car slowly, and they waded through waist-deep water outside to get to a shelter.

"If we waited any longer, we wouldn't have been able to open the car door. We would be stuck inside," she said.

Ms Erny Mohd Yazid, 39, a kindergarten teacher, was also among those caught in the flood.

Her husband was driving her to work in their black Kia Cerato Forte in Pasir Ris at about 7am when they noticed the flooded junction.

"There was a car in front of us that managed to pass through the flood, so my husband followed, but we got stuck in the middle of the junction. He just couldn't accelerate," she said.

Water started seeping into the car two minutes later, as they were deliberating whether or not to flee the vehicle, she said.

"I was afraid the water would rise and we would get trapped inside. The car doors weren't easy to open because of the water pressure," she said.

"I came out and was drenched from the waist-down. I was quite traumatised and scared. I thought my car would explode."

Ms Erny and Mrs Ang both waited three hours for their cars to be towed.

Mrs Ang said she was hungry and cold as she did not take along an umbrella, but she still counts herself lucky.


Cars left stranded in flood waters at the junction of Pasir Ris Drive 12 and Tampines Avenue 10 on Aug 20, 2021. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM


Vehicles had become partially submerged and stuck at the junction of Tampines Avenue 10 and Pasir Ris Drive 12 on Friday. PHOTOS: LIANHE WANBAO

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) sent two fire engines and two ambulances to the scene.

Firefighters rescued five people from four cars, carrying them on their backs through the water to higher ground.

Two were elderly people in the same car, and one of them was taken to Changi General Hospital for pain in the leg.

The rescue operation, which involved more than a dozen SCDF personnel, took just under an hour.

The cause of the flood is currently being investigated by national water agency PUB and the Land Transport Authority.