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     FrontPage Edition: Thu 7 December 2006

Flood-prone areas in Singapore reduced by 15 football fields


PUB reduces flood-prone areas by 15 football fields

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It¡¯s the monsoon rainy season again but for those living or working on International Road and in the Braddell area, flash floods are now a thing of the past. This is due to the completion of major drainage projects in these areas.
In 2006, PUB reduced the flood-prone areas by 9 ha, or the size of 15 football fields. This is part of PUB¡¯s continuous drainage improvement works which has reduced the flood-prone areas in Singapore from 3,200 ha in the 1970s to 130 ha today.
The flood-prone areas will decrease further when the Marina Barrage is completed next year, which will alleviate flooding in the low-lying city areas.
"Floods at the International Road and Braddell were a common sight in the 1990s as the drains were old and too small to cope with increased surface runoff due to urbanisation. With the widening and deepening of the drains by PUB, we have solved the flooding in these areas," said Mr Tan Nguan Sen, PUB's Director of Catchment and Waterways.
Floods in low-lying areas
In Singapore, rainfall tends to be intense and flash floods are most likely to occur in low-lying areas when heavy rains coincide with high tide.
"PUB has been giving flood advisories to 600 residents and shop owners in the low-lying areas every year to advise them on the precautions to take during the monsoon seasons," said Mr Tan.
Flash floods in these areas will be alleviated with the completion of the Marina Barrage by end next year.
The Marina Barrage has nine crest gates that work in harmony and will be lowered to release excess water during heavy rains to prevent the low-lying city areas from flooding. If heavy rains coincide with high tide, huge drainage pumps will be activated and the excess water pumped out to the sea.
Localised flash floods
Most flash floods are of a localised nature. This can occur when an area is hit by intense rainfall and the stormwater cannot be discharged quickly enough into the drains because of blockages or constrictions.
"The quick-changing weather these days can lead to such flash floods which are expected to be rare and of short duration. However, PUB will track every such location and implement measures to prevent these incidences from happening again.
"There are a myriad of reasons why such flash floods could happen. It could be due to a choke in the drains, uneven road surfaces and so on. Once we found a dustbin that had fallen into the drain and caused a choke resulting in a localised flash flood," said Mr Tan.
A multi-agency team made up of PUB, Land Transport Authority (LTA) and National Environment Agency (NEA), has been systematically monitoring and resolving these areas where localised flash floods occur. The team has solved 800 cases over the last 20 years.
They have done improvement works such as raising, re-grading and resurfacing of roads, widening and deepening the drains, and constructing additional drainage outlets along the roads.
Outlook for first fortnight of December
According to the NEA¡¯s Meteorological Services Division, generally wet weather can be expected with widespread intermittent rain on one to three days during the first fortnight of December. Moderate to heavy showers of short duration in the afternoon can also be expected on six to seven days.
The public can obtain the latest weather reports, including heavy rain warnings, by calling the NEA's weather forecast hotline at 6542 7788, or visiting "Weather Report" at our website: The public can also call PUB-One or tune in to radio broadcasts to check the weather and flood situation.
The low-lying areas include:

i) Chinatown/ City area
(Mosque Street, Pagoda Street, Temple Street, Trengganu Street, Upper Pickering Street (between South Bridge Road and New Bridge Road), South Bridge Road, Upper Hokien Street (between South Bridge Road and New Bridge Road), Chulia Street (beside UOB Plaza), Circular Road and McCallum Street / Boon Tat Link.

ii) Tanjong Katong area
(Dakota Crescent, Meyer Place, Meyer Road, Dunman Road, Fort Road, Rose Lane and Stadium Road)

iii) Geylang area
(Guillemard Road (between Lor 26 to 32 Geylang), Lor 4 to Lor 22, Geylang, Lor 101 to 106, Changi Road and Langsat Road)

iv) Area off Jalan Besar (between Weld Road and Kitchener Road)

v) Lorong Buangkok

About PUB
PUB is a statutory board under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. It is the water agency that manages Singapore¡¯s water supply, water catchment and sewerage in an integrated way. PUB was named Water Agency of the Year at the Global Water Awards 2006
About PUB¡¯s tagline: Water for All: Conserve, Value, Enjoy
PUB has ensured a diversified and sustainable supply of water for Singapore with the Four National Taps (local catchment water, imported water, NEWater, desalinated water).
To provide water for all, PUB calls on all Singaporeans to play our part to conserve water, keep our water catchments and waterways clean and build a relationship with water so we can enjoy our water resources. We can then have enough water for all uses ¨C for industry, for living, for life, now and for generations to come.

Source: Media Release 6 Dec 2006

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