Heavy Flooding in Hong Kong due to Blocked Drain Systems

Everything went on a standstill in Hong Kong when the black rainstorm warning was issued for the first time this year. The downpour flooded streets and submerged cars. Shopkeepers scrambled for sandbags to keep out the flood waters from their stores. According to the Drainage Services Department, drains were blocked with rubbish and tree branches.

A surreal scene was caught by the camera outside Shau Kei Wan Market where a taxi was submerged up to its windshield by the floodwaters. There were also pictures of waters reaching a height of 1 meter in a car park at a residential area in Quarry Bay. There were 17 reports of flooding, 18 of trees falling and 3 regarding landslides.

The hardest hit area was Shau Kei Wan where the flooding problem became severe in the last few years. The Drainage Services Department said that it is planning to replace the system with something better that could cope with strong downpours. Flooding was already serious last year but it has grown worse this year because it was knee-high along the tram line.

District Councilor Lam Sum-Lim said that the drainage department told the district council last year that the drainage could handle heavy rain but it seems like the department is not living up to its promise. Lam urged the drainage department to hurry in unblocking and replacing the drains if necessary. Another district council suspected that the drainage systems have aged and the department must consider investigating them.

Hong Kong Observatory issued a black rainstorm signal, the highest in a three-tier system at 11:30 AM on a Wednesday when almost all workers have reported to their work but was downgraded to amber after an hour. At 3 PM, all signals were cancelled. Workers were stuck in their offices because the black rainstorm warning was in effect.

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