Vehicles submerged and damaged in JB flash floods

JOHOR BARU: A two-hour heavy downpour caused massive flash floods in the city here, which resulted in dozens of cars and motorcycles being submerged.

Many of the vehicles belonged to Malaysians working in Singapore, who had parked their vehicles indiscriminately around the city.

The badly-hit areas in the flash floods, which started at about 11.30am yesterday, were Jalan Wong Ah Fook, Jalan Meldrum, Jalan Siu Koon, Jalan Siu Chin, Jalan Siu Nam and Jalan Skudai along Danga Bay. Traffic came to a standstill at all major roads leading into the city.

Some basement carparks in the city centre were also submerged.

There were no deaths or serious injuries reported. The floods receded about two and a half hours later.

Florence Goh, 43, who is a managing director with a software company, said that she and her friend had left a bank carpark when they were trapped in rising waters along Jalan Wong Ah Fook.

“We panicked when the currents pushed my car to the side of the road near the Sungai Segget.

“We were quite terrified,” she said, adding that she could not do anything but abandon her car and run to safety.

Goh’s car had to be towed away later.

Another victim, a businessman who wanted to be known only as Eric, said that the water level rose quickly and many vehicles were trapped in basement carparks.

“The main road along Jalan Wong Ah Fook was like a huge river,” he said, and blamed the development work in the city as the reason for the floods.

He added that this was not the first time the city was hit by flash floods.

Amin Said, who works at a money changer, said his employer has suffered RM20,000 in losses after the outlet was hit by floods twice since opening about a year ago.

“Since the Sungai Segget project started, traders having been facing problems,” he added.

In a statement, Iskandar Regional Development Authority said that the floods were not caused by work on the Sungai Segget Rejuvenation Project.

It said the floods were caused by a combination of two factors – the high tide flows into the Johor Baru City Centre coupled with the heavy flow of rainwater as a result of the prolonged rain over the past few days as well as the downpour earlier yesterday.

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