Friday, June 25, 2010

Floods in various parts of Singapore....

The recent flood on Orchard Road was blamed on some debris in one of the drains. The Bukit Timah flood was blamed on "once in 50 years" heavy rainsfall. This morning, many parts of Singapore was flooded including some parts of Orchard Road. I wonder what kind of explanation for these floods we will be given tomorrow.

Always be wary of 'convenient explanations'. I do plenty of project reviews for various systems and very often when something goes wrong, the people responsible have a tendency to go for the explanation that results in the least work and blame for themselves. For example, if something goes wrong in a software, the programmers will prefer to say that the users misused the software by giving it bad data or something like that rather that an explanation that will result in the software getting reworked. It is more convenient to go for these explanations than spend time and money to find out what is actually wrong and fix it. However, when the problem recurs, the people affected are going to get angry and they will get smart enough not to just accept another convenient explanation....

It is not really clear what is causing all these floods but we have been getting explanations that result in the least amount work and effort on the part of the authorities. The Bukit Timah flood was blamed on a once in 50 years event ....so not much needs to be done. The Orchard Road flood was blamed on debris in a drain so just some monitoring and regular clearing will solve it. Hmm...if that is the case why did Orchard Rd flood again today? We may need to restructure our old system of canals as the rain fall pattern might have changed to cause more intense rain fall due to climate change. For those whose goods and property have been damaged by recurring floods, how many convenient explanations do they have to listen before something concrete is done?

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Over 60% of June rain fell during morning downpour, causing road chaos



SINGAPORE: Heavy and intense rain fell in many parts of Singapore early Friday morning causing road chaos with fallen trees and floods. The PUB said 100 mm of rain fell within an hour, between 8 and 9.30am. That's the same amount of rainfall on June 16 which led to massive floods in Orchard Road. That amount is more than 60 per cent of the average rainfall for the entire month of June. PUB says the heavy rain caused localised flash floods in a number areas and the waters subsided within 30 minutes.



During the heavy downpour Friday morning MediaCorp received several calls about floods in various parts of Singapore. Among the areas affected were Upper Thomson Road near Sin Ming Road, Jalan Boon Lay, and Bukit Timah Road after the Balmoral Road junction in the direction of Corporation Road. Several roads also had traffic diverted due to fallen trees. An uprooted tree fell across the entire northbound carriageway after the junction with Ang Mo Kio Ave 1 in Friday’s morning's heavy downpour making the expressway impassable to traffic. The incident caused a massive jam which tailed back several kilometres. A van was also trapped by the fallen tree and the SCDF said two people in the van were injured and were sent to Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Traffic Police were also on hand to divert traffic away from the CTE towards SLE in between the Ang Mo Kio Ave 1 and Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 exit due to the fallen tree. On Orchard Road, a fallen tree near Orchard Central blocked two lanes of traffic. SCDF personnel were also called in to help evacuate children from a childcare centre at Telok Kurau Lorong G, affected by the floods.



They also had to pump water out of the childcare centre. Traffic police officers were also kept busy regulating traffic and directing motorists at jammed up roads. At the junction of Balmoral Road and Bukit Timah Road, traffic had to be diverted away from due to flood caused by heavy rains.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

A system where mistakes are deemed unacceptable, results in a ridiculous system that seeks to respond by obfuscating, deflecting, etc. (unless the person is in a position to claim entitlement to the 'Honest Mistake' card).

sgcynic said...

"The PUB said 100 mm of rain fell within an hour, between 8 and 9.30am. That's the same amount of rainfall on June 16 which led to massive floods in Orchard Road. That amount is more than 60 per cent of the average rainfall for the entire month of June."

So folks, there, we have our explanation: just these two freak days already accounted for 120% of the average rainfall of June; that's a one-in-say-100-year event. Not my fault, incompetence or oversight ok. Some more the water subsided in 30 mins. You people are very "unsportsmanlike", "small-minded" and "very, very selfish".

Anonymous said...

Just another honest mistake.. let's move on. Don't need to give any explanation or show any stats.
Tell us anything, we also accept..
Some don't accept, also don't dare to voice out.

Praying hard it will rain as heavily during YOG..

Anonymous said...

Aiya.. these water won't kill you lesser mortals.

It's your fault to be at the flooding spots.

sgcynic said...

Innovative idea for Singapore Pools. Quick bet (only first half hour of rain) - "where will it flood today?". Part of proceeds to sponsor PUB or pay those affected. Government no need to pay.

Steve Wu said...

We were told some pretty far-fetched fairy tales:

1. The Bukit Timah flood last November was a freak event, once in 50 years. Not true. It happened again, twice in June 2010.

2. The Orchard Road flood on 16 June was due to a clogged canal. Not true. Orchard Road was flooded again this morning, after intensive canal clearing this week.

3. The canals have sufficient capacities. Not true. The FLOODED areas are supposed to be served by these canals. They did not work as promised.

4. The Marina Barrage works. Not true. It failed flood control. PUB must explain how the Marina Barrage can function WITHOUT a set of sensors in the canals to feedback to the master control to regulate the water level in the Marina Bay. Is it done manually now or at all?

5. The $3 billion spent with an ongoing commitment of $150 million per year for the next 5 years on drainage works would have flood waters under control. Obviously not true. The monies have NOT been effectively spent.

A public inquiry is definitely in order to fix these systemic problems.

Anonymous said...

I would say it will take a freak weather to expose the inadequacies of the canals and drainage system.

Or 2 freak persons breaking into the MRT depot vandalising the train to expose the inadequacies of the security weakness there.

Or much earlier a freak detainee like Mas Selamat to expose the security weakness at the high security detention centre.

Likewise maybe we need a freak election result to expose or even replace the million dollar Men in White and the system they are in charge.

Anonymous said...

We need a freak election to fix all these freak weather floods.

Anonymous said...

cheap labours=lousy products=floods.
cheap outsource: now save S$1million but when payback S$10 million=cheaper,better and faster? ministor will said,"i don't give a damn!" who cares?

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Anonymous said...

Was Orchard road really flooded this time round?

I read the evening paper that reported no flood in Orchard.

Appreciate someone can verify..

xl said...

Yes, i do believe is more to do with climate change. Darn hot nowadays. More water evaporated & come back to earth with a vengeance. Cycle is shorter.

Those people who blindly donate to chc might as well spend their time & $ instead on environmental issues. Help more people & future generations. That's how i tell those preachers off whenever they try to invite/convert me.

Anonymous said...

Orchard-Road-flooded-again

http://www.todayonline.com/Singapore/EDC100625-0000183/Orchard-Road-flooded-again

Anonymous said...

if u buit it, they will come!
if u built the surf board, the water will come.

Anonymous said...

As I commented on your earlier blog on Orchard road flood on 17/06/10, I see Singapore entering a new floodprone era and the PUB is probably behind the curve in addressing this issue. Other that the massive building programme, the main culprit could be the Marina Barrage. One of the main purpose of the barrage is to keep water IN the canal system so that the canals will remain full most of the time. This is contrary to the major purpose of any canal ie. to remain empty most of the time so that it can drain water out as quickly as possible. When you have a canal performing 2 opposing functions, the result will be a new era of floods in new previously non flood prone areas.

Regarding the barrage, the theory is that one could release and channel water around the canal system. However there will be many hours time lag before water is drained. The PUB will always be behind the curve whenever there is a heavy downour as canals need to be emptied immediately to move rainwater away asap.

A quick fix would be for the PUB to drain the entire canal system leading to Singapore River for several months and monitor whether we get hit by floods during the next heavy downpour.

Anonymous said...

Yaacob...no need to crack your million dollars head for an "excuse'...juz BLAMED SINKaporeans..it works everytime

Anonymous said...

Anon
25/6/10 21:08

"I would say it will take a freak weather to expose the inadequacies of the canals and drainage system.

Or 2 freak persons breaking into the MRT depot vandalising the train to expose the inadequacies of the security weakness there.

Or much earlier a freak detainee like Mas Selamat to expose the security weakness at the high security detention centre.

Likewise maybe we need a freak election result to expose or even replace the million dollar Men in White and the system they are in charge."

These Things Happened and we were Caught Off Guard. It is also a Learning Experience for me. Let's Move On.

PAP Ex-Fan said...

i totally agree with steve wu. an inquiry must be fixed (not opposition members!)

i hv never believed 154th when it reported that it was clogged canals. the fact that orchard road flooded again on yesterday showed that there is something very wrong in pub's system of flood control. marina barrage may prove to be a white elephant after all.

sack the pap!

Anonymous said...

In the past, we need like 5-6 hours of continuous rain before areas like Upper Thomson gets flooded. Now we just need 30 minutes of rain to have flash floods all over Singapore - from Thomson to Novena to Bukit Timah to Tampines to Telok Kurau. The rain wasn't even half as heavy as the typical thunderstorm we had in the past. The excuses given were laughable. And looking our masterplan, the authorities are also planning having waterways all over Singapore and pumping artificial rivers? I think they better think twice about those ambitious waterway plans. And I hope PUB conduct a proper investigation - freak rain is a lousy excuse. 30 minutes of rain shouldn't cause flooding - something is very wrong.

Anonymous said...

read the tide table on NEA's web:

http://app2.nea.gov.sg/tidetime.aspx

It was LOW TIDE when orchard flooded!

It looks like someone at the Marina Barrage was caught off guard! Is PUB telling us the whole story?