x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Heavy rains but no major flooding in Sharjah

Flooding was kept to a minimum despite heavy rains lashing the northern emirates over the weekend.

Motorists drive through flooded streets in Sharjah’s Industrial Area 1 last week. Municipality staff worked overtime to clean up most areas, especially at night when there was less traffic, and most roads were cleared successfully. Antonie Robertson / The National
Motorists drive through flooded streets in Sharjah’s Industrial Area 1 last week. Municipality staff worked overtime to clean up most areas, especially at night when there was less traffic, and most roads were cleared successfully. Antonie Robertson / The National

SHARJAH // Flooding was kept to a minimum over the weekend despite the heavy rains that lashed the Northern Emirates.

Many residents were worried the bad weather would bring the kind of problems seen in previous years, with major roads shut down and homes and businesses under water.

This time the problems were restricted to industrial areas, but even there the damage was kept to a minimum.

“The municipality seemed to be well prepared this time and had enough water-collecting tanks clearing the streets,” said Abbasi Soolangi, who works in a car workshop in Industrial Area 13.

“Two years back, whenever it rained we had no access to even come to work, all the roads were flooded and the workshop had all the clients’ cars submerged in water.

“This year it was different. It would be flooded at one point but in about an hour after calling the municipality, its cleaners would be on the road and things would get back to normal.”

Municipality vehicles were kept busy collecting water at the worst affected areas, such as Sharjah Airport Road and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road.

Hassan Taffak, assistant director general for the environment and agriculture at the municipality, said drainage put in place recently has proved to be effective.

Mr Taffak said the municipality had formed an emergency committee to supervise the clean up of most areas, especially at night when there was less traffic, and most roads were cleared successfully.

“We have also collected large sums of water into our dams that we are going to harvest into agriculture and forestry to further help our environment,” he said.

Despite the overall success of response, there were still problems with flooding. King Faisal Road, Corniche Road and Al Wahda Road were almost impassable at points.

Some residents of Al Khan, Al Qassimiya and Al Nabba also reported flooding.

Malik Minhas, who owns a mobile phone shop near Al Estiqlal roundabout, said the rains badly affected business.

“The whole of this roundabout was flooded and people just could not come here to buy anything,” Mr Minhas said. “I have not seen it flooding this place as much as it did this time and I have been here for eight years.”

Despite a drop in customers, there were no serious damage to properties in the area.

ykakande@thenational.ae