Saturday 17 July 2021

Commotion In Lagos As Flood, Fallen Trucks Cause Gridlock, Leaving Commuters Stranded

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Flooding coupled with fallen trucks on some highways resulted in traffic jams, as motorists spent hours to reach their destinations.


Lagos flood

A flooded area of Lagos

According to a report by The PUNCH, many commuters were stuck in gridlock in different parts of Lagos on Friday as several highways were flooded due to downpours that fell for about four hours.

Flooding coupled with fallen trucks on some highways resulted in traffic jams, as motorists spent hours to reach their destinations.

Traffic updates by the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority indicated that vehicular movements at both Lagos Mainland and Island were affected by flooding.

For instance, a video posted at 6.03pm by the agency on its Facebook page indicated that Alfred Rewane Road, Ikoyi, was flooded, leading to a traffic snarl while vehicles waded through the water. Many people were also seen resorting to trekking.

Other flooded areas on the island that caused traffic included Marina, where vehicles in car parks were engulfed in water; Lekki Phase 1 inwards Sandfill, Maroko inwards Chisco, Law School down to Bonny Camp Roundabout, Apogbon, among others.

“Akin Adesola inwards Law School at the moment (around 2pm) is on standstill due to the flash floods. Slow movement at Ozumba Mbadiwe (Law School Area) as a result of the downpour,” LASTMA stated.

Lamenting the traffic on Marina Road, a motorist, Okechukwu Chuckwu, said the highway was blocked “as a result of the flooding caused by no drainage system.”

On the mainland, there was heavy traffic from 7&8 inwards Afariogun; Eleganza to Canoe, while the service lane inwards Airport was seriously flooded.

“Movement linking Oluwaga is slow opposite PHCN installation inwards Church Roundabout as a result of flash flood. Oju-Odo is almost overflowing the bridge. Ekoro is very heavy due to flash floods and the return journey coming from Abule-Egba,”
 LASTMA disclosed in its update around 4pm on Friday.

It added, “Due to flooding and construction at Alapere inwards Ogudu Car Wash, (there is) traffic backwards to Toll-gate, Emergency and beyond. Also movement from Olopomeji and Gbagada Bridge inwards Car Wash, Ifako, Ogudu, Alapere, Apostolic Church, Ojota Bridge, Motorway-7up to Toll Gate is very busy.”

Saturday PUNCH learnt that the traffic was worsened by a multiple accident involving a truck and two cars, close to Odo Iya-Alaro Bridge inwards Maryland.

The traffic report further read, “A fallen truck at Iyana Isolo inwards Daleko occupied 50 per cent of the road. LRU (LASEMA Response Unit) has been contacted for removal while officers are on ground doing the needful.

“The flat body of a trailer got stuck at Church Gate bus stop inwards Agbara, blocking almost half of the road.

“A broken down loaded containerized vehicle separating the head from the body on Akanni Doherty inwards Oba Akran with a backlog extended beyond National into Capitol Road. Officers are managing the traffic situation while LRU has been contacted for evacuation.”

An official at a bank around Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos Island, identified only as Sulyman, told Saturday PUNCH that he spent five hours in traffic commuting from the workplace to his residence in Magboro, Ogun State.

“The traffic was really bad. I left the office at 4pm and got home at 9.20pm. I am very tired,” he told one of our correspondents on the phone.

 A clerk at a warehouse in Maryland, Sola Philips, decried heavy traffic on the corridor, stating that, “I had to alight from a bus I boarded and trek some distance to take another bus.”

A Twitter user with the username, lytle_scarlet tweeted, “Omo, I just got lucky to leave here. Flood level is past knee length and I’m quite tall. Cars are submerged in car parks. Only SUVs can swim through the floods.”

However, some Lagosians blamed the state government for blocked drainage channels which contributed to the flooding.

On snapchat, one Molaadeh wrote, “All I am thinking about is how my car is going to move on this flooded road. Finally I got into this and I have spent one hour on Awolowo Road and I’m still counting.”

The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, said flooding was a global phenomenon and was not peculiar to Lagos State.

He said, “When you go to Germany, you will see that what we have here is a flash flood. What is happening to us is climate change. The world is going through change.  I am not unsympathetic to the pain of the people but the floods aren’t caused by bad drainage. Our drainage channels are in good condition.

“Within two to three hours after the rain, you will see that the flood will end. All the water would have gone through the drainage channels.”

Omotosho said the government had been warning Lagosians about the impending flood and told them to get prepared.

He added, “We warned them against blocking the drainage, pouring dirt in the channel, building houses on water pathways and other unapproved locations. More importantly, they should maintain a clean environment.”

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