Friday, March 22

Waters kept out by flood-mitigation works


Flash flood along Ling Kai Cheng Road, which DID attributes partly to road sinking and clogged drains.

SIBU: Phase 1 and 2 of the Sibu flood-mitigation project have been successful in preventing floods, said Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) divisional engineer Ting Sing Kwong yesterday.

“Phase 1 of the flood mitigation project costing RM147 million, involved raising of the road for about 2kms and building of two pump houses (Lanang Camp and Alan Road) has prevented water from Rajang River spilling in.

“Phase 2 cost RM47 million, which has a pump station and raising of 1km of the road.

“The pump house at Lanang Camp has five pumps while that in Alan Road, has four to pump out water.

“The one at Ek Dee Road which is under Phase 2 has four pumps commissioned yesterday (Wednesday).

“Each pump is capable of pumping out three cubic metres of water per second. Hence, with the pumps running and levees, (it’s) keeping those areas dry,” Ting said.

On the two stations, namely at Kingwood Hotel and near Sibu Central Market, he said they were constructed under the economic stimulus package but without levee and water control gates.

“There are four pumps at the station near Kingwood Hotel while the one near Sibu Central Market has five,” he disclosed.

He noted that these two stations have been handy in keeping Pedada Road dry all the while.

“But, if the water in Rajang River is too high, it might still spill in as water pumped out, would flow in again,” he said, adding that the facility was very effective during normal times.

“For example, for the past few nights, where the water level was not very high, the pumps had drained out water.”

He pointed out that there was nothing much they could do for areas not protected by the pumps and levees.

A levee, he explained, was to prevent water from the Rajang River from spilling over into the town.

Asked on the flooding in areas such as Hua Kiew Road and Ling Kai Cheng Road, he said they were flash floods from heavy downpours.

“Flood in Ling Kai Cheng Road was due partly to road sinking. I believe the water could be discharged faster if the roadside drains under the local council were cleared,” he said.

On areas such as Merlin lanes, Belian Lane and Hua Kiew Road, he noted some of the roads there had slightly sunken, adding that roadside drains needed to be maintained.

According to Ting, water had subsided in most of the affected areas there.

On certain stretches of road in Kampung Bahagia Jaya, he said the floods could be due to a sinking road.

Urging people in low-lying areas to be vigilant, he said a king tide was expected (last night), measuring 1.6 metres, the highest for the month.

Another round of king tide was expected from 11pm tonight till midnight, he revealed.

Meanwhile, according to the readings from the hydrological stations, areas in Sungei Merah town recorded 100 mm of rain on Jan 21, Sibu New Airport 72 mm, express terminal 84 mm, Sg Salim 36.5 mm and Sarawak Maritime Academy 66 mm.

In contrast, the upper reaches such as Belaga recorded 6.5 mm of rain and Kapit 4.0 mm.