I Can’t Believe My Eyes: Orchard Road Is Flooded

Orchard Road resembles a muddy river today. I am so glad I wasn’t stuck there. But then again it’s quite a rare sight and the teenagers putting videos up on YouTube seem energized and tickled by it.

There was a heavy downpour today with the heaviest rain during the rush hour, (9am to 11am), but I think one of the pipes or something must have burst to cause this level of flooding?


I can’t imagine the damage to all the cars. Especially those parked at basement levels.


The Hindi music in the video below is just an odd placement of music. I can’t imagine the level of damage to the goods (all those Hermes scarves! like the girl shrieks in the video). And all this during the Great Singapore Sale which is an event to draw in the tourists to our shopping belt.

I guess this is where shops are glad if they have insurance coverage against floods? I have seen flooding at my school in the old days where we had to wade through the water or walk over a plank to get to school, but this is probably the first time teenagers today have experienced a flood.


This is an extract of a report according to the Straits Times:

Extracted from the Straits Times
Jun 16, 2010
Flash floods wreak havoc

FLASH floods caused by heavy downpour on Wednesday morning wrought havoc on many parts of central Singapore, flooding basement carparks and shops, and making roads impassable to cars.

The worst-hit area was the Orchard Road and Scotts Road intersection, with large stretches from Paterson Road – where Ion Orchard and Wheelock Towers are – to Ngee Ann City submerged in nearly half a metre of flood waters.

The basement of Liat Towers was flooded, affecting shops like Starbucks and Hermes, which reported goods destroyed by floodwaters. A number of cars stalled in the rising floodwaters, stranding motorists. Many passengers were also reported to be stuck in buses in areas where traffic was impassable. Traffic lights were out at some inter-sections….

There’s a report circulating that in 1999 it was reported that due to a new storm drain, Orchard Road will never flood. It was from the New Paper.

For a flood to hit anywhere in Singapore, it takes a combination of high tides and about 100mm of rainfall within an hour.

And Orchard Road is protected by its mighty rain drain — the Stamford Canal. Thanks to it, shoppers haven’t had to slosh through waist-deep waters since 1960s.

But what makes a good drain?

According to a Ministry of Environment (ENV) spokesman, it’s the flow capacity of a drain and not its storage capacity. In other words, it isn’t the size of the boat that matters, but the motion of the ocean. And Orchard Road’s supersucker had plenty of that. It can empty an Olympic-sized pool before your cup of latte has time to cool. It’s very handy around this time, with La Nina is expected to bring about more wet days in the next two months.

La Nina is the weather phenomenon responsible for the heavier rains and cooler temperatures around the region. Already, it has increased rainfall by 25 to 30 per cent this year, noted a Meteorological Service spokesman. Singapore’s worst ever flood happened in 1978 when 512 mm fell in 24 hours. Seven people died in that flood. To prevent such disasters from recurring, the Government has spent some S$1.1 billion since 1984 on about 800km of drains all over Singapore.

How can you do your bit to avoid doing your shopping in sampans? Simple. Just don’t chuck your rubbish in the drains. Let the rain drains do their work, and go with the flow.

Could it then be that littering and global warming combined to produced the flood we experienced today? I feel that global warming has made our rains heavier and our hot days even hotter. In the 70’s the temperature used to be a comfortable 28 degrees celcius most of the time. These days it’s a blazing 33 degrees on most days.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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9 Responses to I Can’t Believe My Eyes: Orchard Road Is Flooded

  1. Pingback: World Wide News Flash

  2. Kirsten says:

    It’s insane, isn’t it? I can’t believe how this has happened, especially after all the assurances that Singapore will never flood again!

  3. Pingback: More Fascinating Videos from the Orchard Road Flood « Tiny Island

  4. bookjunkie says:

    It makes me nervous to go down town this week!

  5. 365days2play says:

    Woo hoo…Your blog post has been quoted by the Straits Times! Go see today’s newspapers!

    • bookjunkie says:

      Thanks a million for your support..means a lot to me!!! I was so excited when I heard about it…then immediately after that “oh-oh” …nervous…wondering what I might have said that has got me into trouble or something

  6. Pingback: Tiny Feels Big on Page 34 of The Sunday Times « Tiny Island

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