DUBAI // Work to clear Sheikh Zayed Road in Jebel Ali is still under way after a rush of rainwater blocked traffic completely on Wednesday, according to Dubai Municipality.
Talib Julfar, director of the Drainage and Irrigation Department, said there was a failure in the irrigation station in Jebel Ali and they hope to clear the road by 5pm on Thursday.
“Teams to drain the water have been dispatched across the city and have been working non-stop to clear the roads and neighbourhoods that have been affected by the weather,” he said.
“Water had leaked into the [drainage] station, which resulted in a short circuit that caused a fire,” said Mr Julfar. However, he said that the issue has now been resolved.
It unclear how much had been drained via Dubai’s system, but Mr Julfar said it is an estimated one million cubic meters.
Meanwhile, he said other flooded areas, such as Discovery Gardens, were not under the jurisdiction of Dubai Municipality.
Mr Julfar said that these areas have their private stations, but Dubai Municipality is willing to help if asked by the companies and after they deal with their areas.
Johnny Beyrouthy, an Abu Dhabi resident, was stuck in his vehicle for almost 13 hours on Wednesday.
“By the time I get to Jebel Ali, it was 11am, where I stayed for the next 10 hours,” he said. “Eventually, when the authorities opened the central reservation, I was able to U-turn back to Abu Dhabi, but cars were passing one by one, so it still took a lot of time.”
Mr Beyrouthy said that it was a long and strenuous ordeal, adding that he had not eaten the entire day.
“There was a gas station that was approximately four kilometres away from me, but it was raining heavily, and those of us not close to it couldn’t not really walk there,” he said. “There were some people who left their cars and went there to eat.”
Some 476 traffic incidents were recorded by Dubai Police between 11am and 11pm on Wednesday, according to Lt Col Khazraj Al Khazraji, deputy director of Dubai’s command and control room. All were considered minor, and there were no fatalities, he said.
On Thursday, some Dubai residents were still unable to leave their homes to go to work.
“A lot of people are still stuck in their homes, my house is also blocked on both sides so I walked to the supermarket to pick up groceries,” said Antonio Abreu, a Discovery Gardens resident. “They (authorities) have been pumping water all night but still the main road is flooded with water more than 11 hours after the rain stopped. If it was still raining we would have to go out by boat for sure. “I have never seen it this bad. The main road of Discovery Gardens is still flooded with water. Only 4-wheel cars can pass.”
Dave Spours, also a Discovery Garden resident, said that he too was not able to reach work on Thursday.
“I tried to leave to go to work this morning, but there was no way we were going to get out. We were in a taxi, and after about half an hour trying to get out, we told him to take us back home,” he said, adding: “Hundreds and hundreds of cars were on the road, and it was a gridlock. The water was there this morning, but we can probably leave now. I saw a truck last night sucking the water.”
Source: uae news