Businesses hit hard by floods

FLASH floods created havoc across Singapore on Monday afternoon, felling trees, snarling traffic and affecting business. 

The worst-hit areas, according to police, were at Rochor Road, heading towards Bukit Timah, Victoria Street, Upper Pickering Street and isolated areas in the Boat Quay area. 

The water levels at these roads were as high as 300mm, said the Public Utilities Board. 

A combination of heavy rains and bad timing – the tides were exceptionally high between 1pm and 3pm – caused the floods. 

Though nerves may have been frayed as traffic slowed to a crawl, leaving drivers and commuters stuck, the high waters hit businesses where it hurt most – in the pocket. 

SLOW DRIVE: Traffic grinding to a crawl along Thomson Road as flash floods hit the area and other parts of Singapore.

In the Rochor area, the sudden rise in water caught businesses off-guard. 

Simon Low, an administrator at a plastic parts company there, found all of his low-lying merchandise ruined by the water. 

He said: “The water kept on coming and flooded us up to the knees. I can’t estimate the damage – all the tools, my printer, quite a lot of my things. Once wet, I have to throw them away.” 

Hairdresser Jacqueline Yap tried using newspapers as a bung, with predictable results once the floodwaters began rising rapidly. 

She said: “The flood started coming in very fast, so some of my equipment and chemicals were damaged. 

“We had to take off our shoes and work barefoot. We’ve had floods before but this is the worst.” 

The rains were brought on by the north-east monsoon season which occurs from late November to March each year. – The Straits Times/ Asia News Network  

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