Sharjah/Ajman/Fujairah - The torrential downpour on Sunday found thousands of residents stuck in traffic as vehicles were stalled across rainwater-logged roads across the UAE.
After battling traffic congestion and hours-long delays caused by the heavy downpour on Sunday, residents were delighted to see that most water-logged roads were cleared in less than 24 hours.
The torrential downpour on Sunday found thousands of residents stuck in traffic as vehicles were stalled across rainwater-logged roads across the UAE. However, traffic was back to normal on Monday as all major roads were completely drained of the rainwater.
Vivek Sadanand, a Sharjah-based Indian expat, said: "I was stuck near the National Paints roundabout for nearly an hour and a half on Sunday morning due to water-logging in Sharjah's Industrial Area. Today, the roads were bone-dry. I got to work at the usual time."
Anil Kumar B, a resident of Al Khail Gate in Dubai, said: "There was some water logging opposite Al Khail Gate in Al Quoz causing long traffic jams throughout the day on Sunday. By the time I returned home from work late in the evening, the roads were dry."
Officials at the municipalities of Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah said they were fully prepared to tackle any rain emergency and challenges caused by the unstable weather. They have urged residents to report road flooding on municipality hotlines and social networking websites.
Civic authorities jump into action
Thabit Salim Al Taraifi, director-general of the Sharjah Municipality, told Khaleej Times:
"The emergency teams have developed a comprehensive action plan that includes necessary measures to deal with water-logging and various exigencies. The plan aims to ensure the safety of life and property and facilitate movement of traffic."
The emergency teams have been on their toes to monitor every road and square in the city following heavy rains that lashed the region on Sunday. The municipality staff will continue to promptly deal with any waterlogging and clear the way for motorists to ensure that there are no bottlenecks.
Hassam Al Tafaq, director of the environment department at the Sharjah Municipality, urged the public to report any emergencies and accumulation of rainwater by calling 993, or via the municipality website, its smart app 'We are all municipality' or through social networking sites.
15 teams set up in Ajman
Abdulrahman Al Nuaimi, director-general of the Ajman Municipality, said: "The municipality has made necessary preparations to tackle any situation arising out of rains."
Dr Mohammed Ahmed Omair Al Muhairi, executive director of the infrastructure development sector, said that the department is taking all measures to ensure the safety of citizens. The municipality has allocated 25 tankers and 25 pumps to drain out rainwater. "It has also completed maintenance and cleaning of the drainage network."
The municipality has also formed 15 teams to monitor and follow up rainwater drainage throughout the emirate during the rainy season. "An emergency plan has been drawn up to enable workers and deploy mechanisms to reduce the impact of rainfall," he added.
Abdullah Mustafa Al Marzouqi, director of the roads and infrastructure department at the Ajman Municipality, said that the civic body is keeping a close watch on the weather situation in the emirate and continues to coordinate with authorities concerned to ensure safety of people.
He called on residents and visitors to report any rain-related incident to municipality directly via the hotline 80070.
The operator will forward the call to emergency teams, who will provide immediate assistance, he pointed out.
Rainwater network in Fujairah
In Fujairah, a top municipality official said that plans and measures have been put in place to ensure rainwater network works efficiently and any emergencies are promptly communicated to the authorities. The municipality is ready with tankers and other equipment to deal with rainwater pools in different areas.
He urged the public to exercise caution during the rains and follow instructions of the competent authorities regarding the use of alternative roads and avoid areas near valleys and creeks. He appealed motorists to follow speed limit on wet roads to avoid exposure to traffic accidents and to maintain a safe distance from vehicles.