Bracing for flash floods

Watery woes: Despite being raised on stilts, this kampung-style house in Kampung Manjoi was affected by flash floods that left the furniture and other items partially damaged.

THE sight of overcast skies has been raising concern among Ipoh folk.

With the monsoon season in their midst, many are making preparations for eventualities of flash floods in their respective residential areas.

Perak has been experiencing stormy weather in several locations, in the past few weeks, resulting in a large number of flood victims being evacuated from Larut, Matang and Selama district as well as Kerian district.

Ipoh residents who spoke to StarMetro said they were worried for their safety as well as their families’ whenever it rained.

An accountant, who wished to be known as Jenny, said she was concerned for her elderly mother, who lives alone in Chemor.

“The area was inundated once before but my mother prefers to live in her house because she can potter in the garden and attend to other tasks.

“In that incident, the water level rose very quickly and my mother was forced to stay with me for several weeks,” she said.

“She doesn’t want to move in with me as I live in an apartment in the city.”

She said her brother bought their mother a waterproof bag to keep important documents and pictures.

“We told her that if it starts to flood again, she will have to pack up and call us right away to get her out,” Jenny said.

Ipoh mayor Datuk Rumaizi Baharin said Ipoh City Council, in November last year, had planned to upgrade the drainage system in several flood-prone areas such as RPT Sri Klebang/Desa Sri Chepor, Kampung Sungai Rokam and Bercham Industrial Area.

Earlier this month, he had said that roads and drains would be upgraded and works expedited to reduce risks of flash floods and landslides before the end of the year.Clerk Nur Amirah Hana Azizi, 27, from Villa Medan Desa Perpaduan in Tambun, said the residential area was quite prone to flash floods.

“The last time we had a flash flood in the area was in June but the worst one was in August last year.

“The water entered my neighbour’s house and destroyed many of their furniture and personal belongings,” she said, adding that the water level was up to her knees.

“My family was fortunate as our house is on higher ground and only the porch was affected.

“We have a few vehicles parked outside the house so we do get worried that they may get stuck as we may not be able to remove them quickly if the water gushes in.”

Nur Amirah said the city council had installed a water pump near her house early this year as part of its flood mitigation plan.

“We hope the pump will stop heavy flooding from happening,” she added.

Meanwhile, for teacher Muhammad Khabib Zulbakri, the flood situation in his residential area in Taman Jati has improved.

Muhammad Khabib said he believed the improvement was due to the upgrading efforts by the city council.

“It is not as bad as it used to be. It rained heavily a few days ago but the drain water did not overflow and enter our porch like it did earlier this year,” the 31-year-old said.

“We have experienced overflowing waters almost reaching our front door and it was quite worrying,” he added.

Muhammad Khabib said he would continue monitoring the situation vigilantly despite the improvement.

“I will check the water level from time to time and if it gets worse, I will start packing up my things and place electrical items on a higher place.

“The main road heading to Taman Jati is prone to flash floods but so far, so good,” he added.

Meanwhile at Lim Garden, its residents association deputy chairman K. Sagadevan said flash floods were a thing of the past, thanks to the installation of a large water pump near Jalan Goh Yin Foo.

“The last time there was flood in the area was a few years ago.

“Those living in the lower area were badly affected as the floodwater had entered their houses,” he said.

Sagadevan said there were also two smaller pumps in the area which had tremendously helped to pump out excess water into the nearby Sungai Pari.

“One was installed by the city council while the other one was fixed by the state Drainage and Irrigation Department.

“I believe another permanent large water pump will be installed soon.

“Most people here are used to flash floods. Everyone always stays calm and they take precautionary measures by putting away their household items on higher ground,” he added. > turn to page 3

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