Flash flood at Upper Thomson Road - a thing of past now!

Sandbags have been placed at Upper Thomson Road in Singapore to prevent water from flowing into shophouses and drain covers have been changed to open ones to facilitate flow of water. Upper Thomson Road witnessed flash flood on December 24 due to unauthorised work on the public drainage system by a private construction firm.

A view of Upper Thomson Road in Singapore which witnessed flash flood on December 24,2016. Photo courtesy: heartlandertourist.com

Providing an update after a flash flood struck the area on January 19, national water agency PUB and the Land Transport Authority said the measures were “temporary improvement works to increase the drainage capacity in the area” since the December 24 incident. The sandbags are placed at the edge of the five-foot ways that front the shops along Upper Thomson Road.

PUB had carried an investigation which led to the flooding of Upper Thomson Road on December 24. PUB announced through a press release, “Our investigation revealed that the contractor, Sato Kogyo (S) Pte Ltd, had carried out works that affected the public drainage system. A temporary diversion drain constructed by the contractor within the worksite was found to be undersized, and the contractor did not inform PUB prior to the commencement of these works. The public drainage system across Upper Thomson Road (near Lorong Mega) was also found to have been altered by the contractor without PUB’s approval.”

Equipments of Roti Prata House were damaged during the flash flood on December 24,2016. Photo courtesy: heartlandertourist.com

It also announced, “PUB will be taking action against the contractor under the Sewerage and Drainage Act. The contractor has also been instructed by PUB to carry out rectifications to improve the drainage in the area.” 

There was a heavy rainfall in Singapore on January 19 leading to a flash flood at the junction of Upper Thomson Road and Jalan Lembah Thomson for about 20 minutes, from 3.44pm to 4.05pm. The Government agencies said 59.2mm of rainfall was recorded at Lower Peirce Reservoir from 3.10pm to 4pm.

The LTA said it has instructed Sato Kogyo to speed up the completion of canal-widening along Jalan Keli. Once it is completed early in the third quarter of this year, the area will have better protection against floods. PUB has also advised the public to be cautious as flash floods may occur in the event of heavy storms.

The public may also report flash floods or check on the flood situation via PUB’s Facebook page, its call centre (1800 2255 782) or its MyWaters mobile app.

Ashraf Jamal
Ashraf Jamal – Senior Writer

Ashraf Jamal brings a rare depth to writing equipped with a degree in journalism, a postgraduate degree in political science, and a degree in law from the Allahabad University. His experience includes editing and publishing the Northern India Patrika and writing for Times of India for almost a decade covering just about any topic under the sun including NRIs and Indian diaspora.


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