Tuesday, 21 March 2017 | MYT 12:00 AM
Heavy rain causes chaos in the city
KUALA LUMPUR City Hall (DBKL) is planning to upgrade existing retention ponds and build new ones to cope with the unusual heavy rain that has been causing flash floods in the city.
Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said they were mulling over expanding the Berembang pond in Ampang and building one on Jalan Semarak to hold water during a downpour.
“The rain on Sunday strained the rivers’ maximum capacity up to threefold, with the output from Sungai Bunus, a tributary of Sungai Gombak, recorded at 120cumecs (cubic meter per second) from the usual 45 cumecs.
“Sungai Gombak had reached maximum capacity while Sungai Klang was also reaching its maximum. At the confluence of the two rivers near Masjid Jamek, the riverbanks burst, leading to flash floods.
“The Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (Smart) was activated in Mode 2 at about 4.20pm, where the lower culvert will be opened to channel excess floodwater from the holding pond in Kampung Berembang to the storage reservoir in Taman Desa.
“Subsequently, the water from Sungai Keruh and Sungai Batu were diverted to the Jinjang and Batu flood retention ponds, respectively,” he said at a press conference after a groundbreaking ceremony for the Residensi Rampai II project in Taman Seri Rampai yesterday.
Tengku Adnan said he initially thought the drains were clogged or there was a pump malfunction but investigations revealed that the rivers just could not contain the high volume of water.
“We are also studying the possibility of diverting the water from Sungai Bunus, something like the Smart system, during heavy rainfall, but that would have to go through a long process,” he said.
Yesterday, workers were seen cleaning along the banks of Sungai Kerayong after flood waters swept rubbish and other debris down the river, some even reaching as high as the railing.
Meanwhile, DBKL senior deputy director and operations assistant commissioner Osman Ismail has advised the public to be aware of weather changes, especially in areas near rivers.
“In case of a flood, they should call any rescue team including DBKL, the Civil Defence Department as well as the Fire and Rescue Department,” he said when contacted.
On Sunday, 12 firemen were deployed to a fast food outlet in Jalan Tun Perak to help pump out floodwaters from the ground floor.
The vicinity of the Masjid Jamek LRT station was also affected by an overflow of water from the Sungai Klang, resulting in flash floods in the bazaar along Jalan Melayu.
Firemen were also despatched to pump out 4m of floodwaters from an underground parking lot of a bank in Jalan Melaka.
About 15 cars were trapped in the parking lot in the 6.25pm incident.
Other areas affected during Sunday’s downpour included Jalan Kuching, Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Maharajalela, Jalan Pahang, Jalan Ampang, Batu Muda Tambahan, Jalan Raja Chulan, Jalan Pudu Sentral (Tung Shin Hospital), Persiaran Ampang Hilir, Jalan Tun Perak, Kg Muda Tambahan, and Jalan Dang Wangi.