x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

16 million gallons of floodwater pumped away in Dubai clean-up

The quick response of the municipality helped reduce damage caused by the burst pipe near Discovery Gardens.

Pumping operations cleared most of the water in the area near Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai, but traffic disruptions remained yesterday. Satish Kumar / The National
Pumping operations cleared most of the water in the area near Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai, but traffic disruptions remained yesterday. Satish Kumar / The National

DUBAI // A swift response by municipality engineers in clearing 16 million gallons of floodwater helped to minimise the damage caused after a main water pipe burst near Discovery Gardens.

The pipe burst on Thursday night flooding roads and car parks behind the China court section of Ibn Battuta Mall and the Gardens. Pavements were damaged and cars were stuck.

Hassan Makki, Dubai  Municipality’s director of Sewerage and Irrigation Network department, who led the recovery operation, said: “We deployed our action team to carry out operations according to the emergency plan we follow to tackle such circumstances.

“Our team started action at 1am on Friday with eight tankers and pump sets and worked 15 hours continuously.”

The response teams drained close to 75,000 cubic metres of water – about 16 million gallons.

The eight tankers have a loading capacity of 5,000 gallons and removed 3,211 loads of water during the emergency, said Mr Makki.

The cooperation between different government departments as well as the emergency services has been praised.

“In such situations actions should be well coordinated and organised in order to make it fast and effective,” said Redha Salman, director of the Public Health and Safety Department at Dubai Municipality.

“This is what is meant by the emergency and crisis plan and coordination between Dubai government bodies headed by the police department. In many cases, our approved action plan was proven to be effective.”

A video of the flooding captured by a witness and posted on YouTube showed torrents of fast moving water flowing along a street. People who left cars near the mall’s cinema car park were forced to abandon their vehicles overnight.

Police and the Roads and Transport Authority had to close roads and imposed diversions, which led to gridlocked traffic in Discovery Gardens for days afterwards.

Exit 27 off Sheikh Zayed Road into Discovery Gardens was closed for more than 48 hours forcing motorists into long lines of traffic at exit 25.

The water also seeped into a power generator causing an explosion and fire. However, the blaze was quickly brought under control and police said there were no injuries.

Nakheel, the developer of Discovery Gardens and Ibn Battuta Mall, said water supplies to the mall were briefly affected for a few hours on Friday but were then fully restored.

It added that repairs teams were still working to clear up the debris and sand left behind by the flood.

nhanif@thenational.ae