Environment Minister Yaacob Ibrahim attributed last Thursday’s floods in Bukit Timah to a “freak” event that occurs “once in 50 years”.
He said: “What happened was very unusual. The intensity was tremendous.”
Flood waters partially submerged ground-floor buildings and cars. The Straits Times carried a picture of a car in car park with the water mark reaching almost the side view mirrors. The flooding occurred along two stretches of Bukit Timah Road — from Coronation Road to Third Avenue and from Wilby Road to Blackmore Road. The damage from all this has yet to be tallied.
A businessman TODAY interviewed remarked: “This is like those news footage you see of floods in Manila or Jakarta. This is a prime housing area. I don’t understand how the flooding could have happened.”
According to a PUB spokesman, the heavy rainfall caused the 1st Diversion Canal from the main Bukit Timah canal to burst its banks. The canal was built 37 years ago, in 1972.
I was therefore surprised was to hear the Minister say: “We knew the diversion canal was not big enough to take this.”