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The Curious Case Of Flooding At The Church Of St Vincent De Paul

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1- ST PIC FLOOD IN FRONT OF ST VINCENT DE PAUL

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The above picture was from yesterday’s online Straits Times.

I wonder, how many have noticed that the flood water was confined only to the carriageway on the church’s side? While the other side of the carriageway, (in the background of the pic) for traffic going in the opposite direction, it was apparently flood-free – you can even see the road lines and the black-white curb edge.

It gets more curious when you consider that beyond the green hoarding in the far background of this picture there is actually a canal, the Sungei Punggol canal, running alongside this stretch of YCK Road! The canal is barely 45 metres (as measured on Google Earth) straight across from the church (see the Google Earth satellite picture below). Yet it flooded!

2- CHURCH OF ST VINCENT DE PAUL-BIRD EYE VIEW- -YCK ROAD1-FLOOD

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It can be inferred that the flood water did not come from the said canal overflowing its banks on to the road, since the half of the carriageway nearer to canal was flood-free (the ST picture). So, why was it that only the church’s side of the road was flooded? IMO, one possible reason is that the two sides of the dual carriageway have been  effectively sealed from each other, except at a limited number of breaks along the dual carriageway where turning and U-Turns are permitted. I am no expert, so I don’t know the reason for this apparent practice.

Perhaps, the PWD road engineering dept may want to consider inserting/cutting ‘channels’ at appropriate points or regular intervals along the affected stretch to allow flood water/rain run-off from the church half of the carriageway to flow to the opposite half of carriageway, and from there carried and drained into the Sungei Punggol canal, 45 metres away – constructing additional conduits to bridge the gap between the road side and the canal, if necessary? Can this be done?

BTW, it is not surprising that this stretch of YCK Road is flood-prone. From the Google Earth maps and elevation profiles reproduced below, it is clear that the church and its neighbourhood are situated in a ‘hole’ in the ground. From the elevation profiles you can see that the church is located in a ‘two-tiered’ basin. The church is in fact sitting at the edge of the ‘2nd tier’.

3- CHURCH OF ST VINCENT DE PAUL -YCK ROAD1-FLOOD

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4- CHURCH OF ST VINCENT DE PAUL -YCK ROAD2-FLOOD

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PIC OF CHURCH OF ST VINCENT DE PAUL AND CANAL ALONG GERALD DRIVE

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CHURCH OF ST VINCENT DE PAUL-BEFORE THE RAIN - -YCK ROAD1-FLOOD

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In a blog made long ago, the point had already been made that our island is pock-marked with basins all over the place that urbanization has systemically, wittingly or unwittingly, transformed into flood-prone areas ( see https://thetwophilo.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/the-great-singapore-flood-a-case-of-ponding/ ). Perhaps, the URA, PWD, NEA and PUB should form a joint task force to look into the problem. Ideally, they should be working hand-in-glove as a team in all state and city planning and development, with each looking after their side/angle of the picture, and working together to solve, resolve and pre-empt potential issues from being created when the physical environment is being profoundly altered and permanently transformed.

 

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