Floods cause traffic gridlock in Penang

Audrey Dermawan

GEORGE TOWN: Traffic gridlock was reported in various parts of the island today following heavy downpour which triggered floods.

Hundreds of factory workers were late for work, some for up to one hour, as Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, Lebuh Kampung Jawa, Sungai Nibong, Lebuhraya Mayang, Lebuhraya Thean Teik, Jalan Thean Teik, Jalan Angsana, Jalan P. Ramlee, Jalan Sungai, Jalan Perak, Jalan Tun Dr Awang and Jalan Bukit were flooded.

Factory worker, Grace Ong, who is in her 20s, said she was stucked in the early morning traffic for more than an hour, on her way to work in Dell, Bayan Lepas.

“The main road was flooded and it got worse as I neared the factory. I had to skip work for fear that my car would be stuck in the rising floodwaters,” she said.

Penang Island City Council issued several advisories to road users on its Facebook page. It warned that some roads were inpassable to vehicles, but said the situation would return to normal by noon.

More than 20 houses in Hong Seng Estate, here, was in chest-deep water, forcing occupants to flee. They blamed the flooding on poor drainage.


Pic by NSTP/MIKAIL ONG

Contract worker T. Patmanathan, 53, said the floodwaters began to rise at 4am and the area’s houses were flooded within minutes.

“This neighbourhood is easily flooded. Even if it rains heavily for just 30 minutes, the waters will start to rise. We have been promised by the elected representatives, since last year, that action would be taken, but nothing seems to be happening. We have sleepless nights each time it rains heavily.”

An office clerk who wanted to be known only as Lim, in his 50s, said he had to skip work today because his house was flooded.

“In the past one year, the floods have been getting from bad to worse. We were told plans are underway to solve the problem, but they remain mere plans. I am sick and tired of replacing my things each time they are damaged by floodwater.”

At noon, many of the houses were still flooded, some with water up to their windows. Electrical items and furniture could be seen floating in the water. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd