x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Al Ain finishing storm clean-up

Winds exceeding 40kph uprooted trees and tore down billboards.

AL AIN // Emergency crews cleared debris and worked to contain floodwaters yesterday after powerful winds and heavy rain caused minor damage throughout the city's central district on Saturday.

Streets were flooded, debris from signs and billboards was scattered and trees were uprooted by winds that exceeded 40kph.

Emergency crews from the Centre of Waste Management Abu Dhabi's Al Ain division used cranes to remove the fallen trees as police diverted traffic from flooded areas.

"The storm that hit Al Ain around 5.30pm felled several trees and resulted in the closure of a number of streets in Al Ain," a spokesman for the centre said. "The severe storm resulted in minor damage over a large area.

"Clean-up crews were dispatched immediately after the storm abated and continued working until 1am on Sunday morning, returning after dawn to continue. They have spent all day working together with other government entities to quickly clear roads of debris, especially with the first day of school being Sunday."

The clean-up operation was expected to have been completed last night.

Residents were surprised by the severity of the squall, which came 10 days after another storm battered the city.

"I was taking a nap and was woken by the sound of rushing wind and loud banging," said Mona Sharbeesi, 33, a housewife from Egypt. "When I looked outside, I could see the palm trees bending in the wind, and soon after, the street began to flood."

ealghalib@thenational.ae