Godwin Haruna, Gboyega Akinsanmi and Chiemelie Ezeobi
Flooded roads and homes, broken down vehicles, stranded commuters and anguished residents. That was the lot of Lagos Thursday after over 12 hours of downpour flooded many parts of the metropolis and its suburbs.
The rain, which started on Wednesday evening, increased in intensity by 1 am yesterday and did not subside until 7 am in some parts of the state.
Many early commuters and motorists were stranded as the floods had taken over their neighbourhoods and roads, making it difficult for them to leave for their destinations.
Areas of the city badly affected by the downpour included Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Yaba, Surulere, Gbagada, Oworonshoki, Mafoluku Oshodi, Iyana-Ejigbo, Isheri-Osun, Berger/Alagbole Road, Ajegunle Ikorodu Road, Ogijo, and Odogunyan.
On the Lagos Island, many roads in Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki were also flooded.
Traders with shops in lowlands and offices located around the environs were the worst hit by the floods which swept away their goods and other personal effects.
Many residents also spent the greater part of yesterday bailing out water from their homes, shops and offices in the wake of the downpour, which was reminiscent of that of July 10, 2011 that sacked many parts of the state.
The state government said yesterday that the worst was not over yet as more heavy rains are expected in the next one week, just as it advised those living in lowlands to relocate pending when the heavy rain would subside.
It was also gathered that no fewer than three persons were feared dead in different parts of the state because of the floods.
The state government, however, issued an emergency alert that the state would witness heavier rainfall and more sever windstorms in the next fortnight, urging residents to brace up for the donwpours.
Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, who spoke with reporters while monitoring parts of Lagos after the downpour, said the two-week period “is envisaged to be the peak period of the 2012 rainy season. The notice of alert therefore becomes necessary in order to make adequate preparations for the coming rains and thunderstorms.”
He said residents of lowlands communities such as Eti-Osa, Badiya, Amukoko, Makoko, Iwaya, Ajegunle, Owode and Agiliti, among others, would be gravely affected by the rainstorms and urged them to relocate to upland areas before the rains.
“As a proactive and responsive administration committed to the overall wellbeing of the residents, this alert becomes necessary to sensitise all the residents, especially those that reside in the flood-prone areas to be on the alert in order to prevent the loss of lives and property,” he said. He urged residents to use tomorrow’s environmental sanitation exercise to clean drainages.
in their neighbourhoods and warned them against exacerbating flooding through the dumping of waste into canals, and erecting of structures along drainage channels.