The water in front of the school in Kampung Bahagia Jaya in this photo taken last week.
SIBU: Although places such as Kampung Bahagia Jaya, Kampung Jeriah, Sentosa Road, and Ulu Sungai Merah Road are often flooded, those are not floods, technically.
Sibu Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) engineer Ting Sing Kwong said the correct technical term was ‘ponding effect’.
Ting explained these low-lying residential areas built on peat soil continued to sink, making these residential areas susceptible to the effect of a pond – when it rains, the water will flow into the ‘ponds’.
“Worse still, the surrounding areas are higher, so definitely the rain water will flow down into it, and stay there for days before flowing out.”
The furniture in a house in Kampung Bahagia Jaya soaked in water.
Ting said before the rainy season began, his department had cleared drains in Teku area, where Kampung Bahagia Jaya is located, and other low-lying areas.
“Those are not flash floods, either. Flash floods come and go fast, probably in a few hours. But the water in these low-lying areas stays and remains in the ‘pond’ for days.”
He admitted the stagnant water was inconvenient to the residents, adding his department would find solutions to alleviate the situation this week.
He noted that the land was still sinking in these low-lying peat soil areas.
According to residents in Sentosa Road, the water level was thigh-deep in the current water retention period.
In some parts, it was at waist level.
One house cleaner said the front portion of Sentosa Road was already impassable to cars.
She said she had to go out with an alternative route at the back, and if the rain continued, she might soon be stranded.
“The water level of the alternative route has nearly reached the road. I cannot afford to be stranded because I need to go out to work, failing which I shall earn less and that will be insufficient to feed my family.”
Most belongings of this house have been moved to the first floor after water rises in Kampung Bahagia Jaya.
One owner confirmed the ground floor of his house had been flooded and he had moved his properties and household items to higher grounds.
Another man said his family had moved out to stay temporarily with his younger brother in another part of the town.
“Our family members are mostly working.”
He said the situation they faced was worrying and very common.