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Preparing for the Northeast Monsoon

5 December 2018

Preparing for the Northeast Monsoon

The Northeast Monsoon has set in and is expected to last till March 2019. PUB has been working with the community and stakeholders to prepare the wetter weather and possible flash floods. 

Distributing Flood Advisories and Sandbags

PUB officers are on the ground to distribute monsoon advisories and reminders to residents and shop-owners in flood-prone areas, with tips to protect their belongings and premises against possible flash floods. 

In addition, sandbags will be offered to about 600 residents and businesses in the flood-prone low-lying areas, upon request, to provide additional protection against floodwaters from entering their premises. 

Food Advisories 

Food Advisories  

Educating motorists

This year, PUB worked with the Automobile Association of Singapore to educate motorists on the precautions they can take, if flash floods occur during a heavy rain. For instance, motorists are advised to gauge the depth of floodwaters with the road kerb – if it is submerged and not visible, they should avoid entering the flooded area for their safety, as the vehicles may stall. 

Intensifying Inspections

PUB officers conduct checks on 36 construction sites adjacent/close to major canals to ensure the canals are free from debris and construction materials. During Monsoon season, officers will step up their inspections at another 70 major construction worksites island-wide to ensure that public drains around the sites can function smoothly to convey stormwater during heavy rain. 

Drainage Site Inspection 

PUB engineer conducts inspection at a construction site to ensure that reconstructed box culvert for the canal is built according to plan. 

What can residents and building owners do?

Agencies, Town Councils and building owners play a key role too. PUB has sent out reminders to these stakeholders to make sure that their pump drainage systems are well-maintained and the internal drains are debris-free. Building owners with flood barriers are also alerted to maintain flood barriers and ensure their proper operation. 

Flood Barrier Activated 

Flood Barrier Activated 

Flood barriers when activated

How does PUB do flood monitoring?

Officers at PUB’s 24/7 Operations Centre are on heightened alert for any storms. Through a network of about 210 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras, they check road conditions in the low-lying areas and hotspots during heavy rain.

The network of CCTV is supplemented by 214 water level sensors at major drains and canals to help PUB monitor the water levels during storms.

Despite the efforts, flash floods may still occur especially when heavy rain coincides with high tides. This is when the Quick Response Team is activated to assess the extent of the flood, check the drains for any chokes and clear them, and render assistance where possible.  

Getting Hand on Latest Weather/Flood Information

To stay safe and prepare well for the wetter weather during this monsoon season, check out the latest weather and flood information via the following channels:

(a) Weather outlook and tide info

(b) Water level in canals and drains:
(c) CCTV images of road conditions:
(d) Updates on flash floods:
Download the monsoon advisory for more information [PDF].



By Jerome Goh