NUS hit by flash floods

SINGAPORE - Students and staff members of the National University of Singapore (NUS) were taken by surprise yesterday as rainwater flooded many areas at their campus.

The flood peaked at about 2pm there. Affected areas included the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences (FASS) building and the Cold Storage minimart at Kent Vale, the on-campus housing for faculty members.

Around Singapore, flash floods also occurred at the 9.6km mark of the Ayer Rajah Expressway, Rochester Park , Mount Elizabeth Link, Commonwealth Lane and Cuscaden Road, according to the Facebook page of the Public Utilities Board (PUB).

At NUS, Associate Professor Christopher Hogue, 47, helped out when the Cold Storage minimart at the entrance to the Kent Vale residences was flooded.

In a post on Twitter, the professor of Biology and Bioinformatics from the NUS Science Faculty estimated the water to be about 6cm high as "it went over my shoes, to around my ankle".

In his six years teaching at NUS, Prof Hogue had never seen such serious flooding on campus before. "When I was at the minimart, the staff didn't know what to do," he said.

"I helped them lift stock in the back room off the ground and away from the water by placing them on upended green shopping baskets. We also improvised blockades at both the front and back doors to slow the water down."

The flooding began at 1.45pm and lasted for 45 minutes. The minimart reopened at 3.30pm.

No major damage

A Dairy Farm spokesman said that there was no major damage to the stock as shelves and palettes protected the goods from the water.

Students had to walk through ankle-deep waters to get around some parts of the campus.

Miss Soh Siying, 22, said she encountered the flood near Lecture Theatre 11 and the Humble Origins cafe at the FASS building.

"Rainwater was initially rushing into the drain, but I think the water flow increased and busted the drain cover. Then it started to flood," the third-year geography student said.

This was her first time encountering flooding in NUS."I was alright because I wore flip-flops, but some other students had to take off their shoes and walk barefoot in the water," she said.

karengsc@sph.com.sg


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