Saturday October 13, 2012
KL gripped by floods and jams
KUALA LUMPUR: A downpour during the evening rush home caused a traffic snarl that brought parts of the city to its knees.
The rain started at about 4pm, affecting areas around Jalan Tun Razak, Bukit Jalil, Jalan Duta, and parts of the Sprint Highway.
“There was also congestion from Sungai Besi to Kuala Lumpur, at the Jalan Sultan Ismail SMART tunnel exit, and the Kerinchi Link heading towards the Federal Highway,” a spokesman from the Malaysian Highway Authority said.
Traffic was congested on the NKVE from Shah Alam to Damansara and leading to the Jalan Duta toll plaza.
Motorists had to slow down due to low visibility, causing traffic jams stretching up to a few kilometres in some spots along the highways.
“Most highways were congested, especially along the Sprint Highway from Section 17, Petaling Jaya towards Damansara.
“The situation began to ease after 8pm,” he said.
Rainfall here yesterday, as stated on the Meteorological Department website, was at 14mm and within the moderate level of 11 to 30mm.
Close to 300 houses were under water during the flash floods.
The Fire and Rescue Department said 200 houses opposite the Segambut train station and 100 houses in Segambut Dalam were affected.
The officer in charge of the fire station in Sri Hartamas, Rodlan Othman, said his men had to evacuate an elderly disabled man when his house was flooded.
He also said that waters rose to about 1m for about an hour in the heavy downpour but subsided just as quickly.
Kg Segambut Dalam Lot Landowner Association secretary Iwan Sabi said the drains began to overflow after one hour of rain which started at about 3.30pm.
“What was more bothersome was the dirt that floated out of the drains and floated to the surrounding areas, which is very unhealthy.
“The worse hit was Kg Masjid Segambut Dalam where water rose nearly one-and-a-half feet at Masjid Al-Ububiah,” he said.
Segambut Bahagia Residents' Association chairman Mohamad Ishak Sidin said his neighbourhood was also flooded briefly.
“The flash floods would not have occurred if the retaining wall in Toba River was repaired. The retaining wall had collapsed during a heavy downpour in August,” he claimed.
Also, a playground and a Chinese temple in Jalan Kolam Air 2, Jalan Ipoh were flooded after Sungai Batu overflowed.
According to residents, flood waters subsided after an hour.
One of them said the incident was “mild” compared to the floods last Hari Raya when the waters subsided only after three hours.
Another resident, P. Ravichandran, 46, claimed there had been talks of building a retaining wall by the river banks last month but residents had not been updated of its progress.
He also said that the drains were too small to cope with the rain water, adding that they were also poorly maintained.