Sibu: Residents of several low lying areas here woke up to flooding yesterday morning, with the water level reaching around two feet in some places.
Along Lanang Road, which runs parallel to the Rajang River, traffic almost came to a standstill around 12pm.
The 2km queue of vehicles from town towards SMK Chung Hua School was caused in part by an ongoing flood mitigation project, which has reduced the road to a single lane.
Drainage and Irrigation (DID) Department Sibu chief Ting Sing Kwong said when contacted that flooding was caused by heavy rain in Sibu, Kanowit, Julau and Kapit.
On Dec 29, Kanowit registered 81.5mm of rain, 76mm was recorded in Kapit and 54mm in Julau.
On Dec 31, the heavy rain continued with Sibu registering 80.5mm, followed by Julau (52.5mm), Kanowit (25.5mm), Song (28mm) and Kapit (18mm).
The water from the upper reaches fl owed down to Sibu on Tuesday when there was a King Tide of 5.7 metres.
This caused both the Batang Rajang and Batang Igan to burst their banks.
Ting called on residents in low lying areas to remain alert over the next few days as there are signs that the flooding could continue.
"Take every possible measure to keep yourself safe.
If it continues to rain in the next few days, there would definitely be flooding as the King Tide would only subside by this coming Saturday," he said.
Flooding was reported mainly along Lanang Road feeder roads such as Ubah Lane, Kwong Tung Walk, Tekam Road, Chong Sang Road and Semayor Road.
Other flooded areas included Aman Road roundabout, back portion of Tiong Hua Road, Hua Khiew Road, Oya Road and low lying areas surrounding Ling Kai Cheng Road.
Ting said flood gates at these areas were being built and once operational, conditions would improve.
In Kapit, the water level had reached 12.45 metres, exceeding the alert level of 12.2 metres; while in Kanowit, the water level was 7.6 metres, slightly below the alert level of 8.21 metres.
In Sibu, the water level touched 2.14 metres yesterday, with the alert level at 2.55 metres.
"If heavy rain persists in Sibu in the next few days with rainfall touching the 30mm level, then there is every possibility that the low-lying areas will be flooded," Ting said.
He said it would take about 12 hours for the rainwater from Kapit to reach Sibu and should there be heavy rain in Sibu, then there would be a possible flood.
Meanwhi le, Upper Lanang Road did not see flooding thanks to Phase I of the flood mitigation project, which was completed last year.
Since the completion of the project, residents of Upper Lanang Road have been able to enjoy new year celebrations for the past few years without flooding.
--Courtesy of The Borneo Post Online