Penang hit by flashfloods after morning downpour

GEORGE TOWN: Several areas in Penang were hit by flashfloods after an hour-long downpour today.

The areas worst hit were Sungai Pinang, including Jalan P Ramlee, Jalan Masjid Negeri and Lorong Perak.

The downpour which started at 11.30am also affected Jalan Scotland, Jalan Bagan Jermal, Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim and Minden Heights.

State Local Government, Flood Mitigation and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the floods were due to the rapid rise of water levels at Sungai Air Itam, Sungai Pinang and Sungai Jelutong.

He said the sudden increase of water flow overwhelmed the main drains and roadside drains in the area as water could drain quickly into the rivers.

"This resulted in the drains overflowing which led to the flash floods," he said in a statement.

Chow said the State Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) will be implementing the RM150 million Sungai Pinang Flood Mitigation Project Phase II soon to address the issue in the long run.

He said several short term measures would also be undertaken including deepening Sungai Pinang, Sungai Dua, Sungai Jelutong, Sungai Gelugor, Sungai Air Terjun and Sungai Dondang, repairing the banks of Sungai Air Itam, as well as widening the Sungai Dondang retention pond.

The flood snarled traffic at the affected areas as drivers had to seek alternative routes to their destination, after Jalan P Ramlee became impassable.

Residents of affected areas reacted quickly to move their cars and vehicles to higher ground water levels rose.