Shops in Upper Thomson Road hit hard by Christmas floods

Isabelle Liew
The New Paper
December 28, 2016

It poured on Christmas Eve and the water that gushed into The Roti Prata House at Upper Thomson Road brought with it soil and insects, and knocked over two chillers.

An ice cream parlour located along the same road had to throw away almost $3,000 worth of ice cream, while a tyre shop suffered losses worth thousands of dollars when its equipment broke down.

About eight businesses along Upper Thomson Road were affected by the flood. A waiter at The Roti Prata House, Mr Syed Ridzwan, told The New Paper yesterday that the water in the kitchen was knee-deep. The shop suffered losses of about $15,000.

"All our spices, flour, gravy and rice were spoilt. We had to throw away everything. Two of our chillers fell over and were damaged. A dishwasher was also damaged," he said.

He said the water brought in soil and cockroaches as well. The Upper Thomson MRT Station construction site is nearby.

Mr Syed added: "The flood started at around 5.30pm and subsided by 7.30pm. We cleaned until 4am because it was difficult to scrub the soil off."

Business was badly affected.

He said: "We lost many customers on Saturday and Sunday. Christmas is my (peak) business time and we will usually see a full house."

The eatery resumed regular business on Monday.


An employee at the ice cream parlour, Udders, who declined to be named, said the water in the shop was ankle-deep, resulting in a short circuit of the refrigerator.

The shop switched off all its equipment after that, for fear of being electrocuted.

She told TNP: "We waited for an hour before turning it on. As a result, we had to throw away all our ice cream in the pans as well as the pints in the freezer because they melted and we can't refreeze them.

"Soil, cockroaches and centipedes came in with the water. In the kitchen, dead rats floated from the drain."

The employees closed the shop at 5.30pm to clean up, and resumed business at around 8.30pm. She estimated losses to be about $3,000.

Udders is also planning to put sandbags near the doors, she said.

Nearby shop Tai Huat Tyres and Batteries lost one of their five machines in the flood.

Owner Eu Ah Lek, 79, said the machine, which they use to fix tyres to cars, can cost up to $10,000.

He noted that the flood was the worst he had seen since opening his shop at Upper Thomson Road 31 years ago.

The heavy rain also affected Newton Circus, Balmoral Road, Cairnhill Road and the Pan Island Expressway near Stevens Road, according to the Land Transport Authority.

It also caused traffic jams near the junction of Paya Lebar Road and Sims Avenue, according to social media.

PUB Singapore said in a tweet that wetter weather is expected during this North-east Monsoon season.

On Dec 22, four Singapore-bound flights were diverted to Batam, Indonesia, due to bad weather here.

Syed added: "The flood started at around 5.30pm and subsided by 7.30pm. We cleaned until 4am because it was difficult to scrub the soil off."

The New Paper

Get The New Paper for more stories.