KNEE-DEEP FLOODING

By: Doris C. Bongcac, Michelle Joy L. Padayhag June 18,2015 - 11:00 PM
SAME OLD PROBLEM. Motorists were greeted with the familiar sight of floodwaters after a heavy downpour in Subangdaku, Mandaue City.(CDN/TONEE DESPOJO)

SAME OLD PROBLEM. Motorists were greeted with the familiar sight of floodwaters after a heavy downpour in Subangdaku, Mandaue City.(CDN/TONEE DESPOJO)

Less rainfall, longer downpour in Metro Cebu

Less than one millimeter of rainfall was recorded in Metro Cebu as of 3 p.m. yesterday, the state weather bureau Pagasa said.

But the rains lasted for more than an hour, forcing Metro Cebu’s commuters and motorists to wade in ankle to knee-deep floodwaters for most of the day.

Traffic congestion was heavy in parts of the cities of Mandaue and Cebu due to floodwaters caused by the afternoon rain.

Pagasa officials expect the rain to continue until today due to the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ).

Alfredo Quiblat, acting Pagasa-Mactan chief, said the ITCZ brought light to moderate rains recently in Visayas.

Onset

“We can’t say yet if the ITCZ can bring low pressure area (LPA) or typhoons,” he told Cebu Daily News.

The ITCZ is caused by winds coming from the northern and southern hemisphere that meet at the equator.

Quiblat said they’ve recorded 47 millimeters of rainfall so far in June, lower than the average 183.3 millimeters recorded for the month.

Pagasa earlier said the onset of the rainy season would be the last week of June due to the weak El Niño dry spell.

Despite the lower volume of rainfall, ankle to knee deep water slowed down traffic flow in downtown Cebu City for at least 20 minutes.

Standby

Rafael Yap, Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) executive director, said affected areas include Colon,  Junquera, MJ Cuenco Avenue, Mactan Road in barangay Hippodromo and Bonifacio Streets.

The Mahiga creek in barangay Mabolo started to overflow at noon. Personnel of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management (CCDRRMC) were placed on standby to evacuate the settlers in case the water level goes up.

Five Kaoshiung buses were also placed on standby to fetch stranded commuters, said Councilor Dave Tumulak, who heads the CCDRRMC.

At 3 p.m., a huge branch of a 20-foot Narra tree fell on wires along F. Ramos Street in Cebu City. City disaster management personnel used a chainsaw to cut it’s branches.

“Naa na’y tipaka daan ug lata na ang sanga ug kapin 60 na ka tuig kining maong kahoy (The branch was already rotten and the tree is already 60 years old),” said John Benson Dulosa, city disaster risk management member.

The Visayan Electric Co. (Veco) cut off power to the line at 2:30 p.m. and restored it after the tree branch was cut off.

“The floods were manageable. There were just a few areas that experienced flood only up to the ankle level. But it subsided right away,” Tumulak said.

Soil erosion was also reported outside the Busay Elementary School.

Tumulak said Busay councilman Kevin Sanchez reported to him that rocks fell in  sitio Mahayahay and soil erosion was also noted in sitio Graje.

Divert

In Mandaue City, knee deep flooding was experienced at A. S. Fortuna Street and at the national highway in barangay Tipolo, slowing down traffic on the two roads.

The Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (TEAM) had to divert small vehicles passing by A. S. Fortuna Street to the parallel Cabancalan Road.

Felix Suico, Mandaue City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer, also identified flood hit areas like Lopez Jaena St. in barangay Subangdaku, M.C. Briones Highway in Barangay Tipolo and U.N. Avenue in Barangay Umapad.

Suico said the drainage project there has yet to be completed.

Andres Suson of the City Engineering’s office said service utilities have yet to transfer their wirings to another place, delaying the project.

Clogging

Suico said the Mahiga Creek on the Mandaue City side overflowed into Lopez Jaena Street.

Though the floodwaters subsided 40 minutes later, heavy traffic lasted for more than an hour due to the ongoing road concreting projects along Plaridel, A.S. Fortuna and M.L. Quezon streets.

In other parts of Cebu province, moderate rains that lasted nearly three hours flooded some parts of Cebu.

Water rose on the highway along the public market in Carcar City.

“It’s not really flooding. It’s more of a clogging (of the drainage system). The water takes time to go down,” said Diomedes Campugan, Carcar City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer (DRRMO)-designate.

He said the water rose to about six inches but it was still manageable to passenger jeepneys and even the trisikad.

Campugan also said the DPWH is also undertaking a road project nearby.
The nearby towns of San Fernando and Sibonga reported no flooding. /With Reporters Victor Anthony V. Silva and Jose Santino S. Bunachita and UP Cebu Intern Mary Claire U. Catado

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