Heavy rain causes roads, drains to flood in Honiara

The flooded roadway at Kukum this morning. Photo: Lowen Sei

The capital, Honiara, and village communities on the north coast of Guadalcanal are experiencing heavy continuous rain that started early this morning.

This caused stormwater drains, creeks and roads to be flooded by water coming off high ground trying to find its way to the sea.

Manoa Tepa, principal forecaster for the Solomon Islands Meteorological Service, said the Honiara and Henderson observation stations have recorded a significant amount of rainfall.

“As from 5:30 this morning to 11 o’clock, the Henderson met office reports about 171 millimeters of rainfall for this very short time,” Mr Tepa said.

He said a trough currently lies over the country. The forecast for Honiara and Guadalcanal includes showers, which could be heavy at times, and isolated thunderstorms.

The slow build-up of overcast skies over Guadalcanal in the past few days brought about a long period of heavy rain that started this morning.

While the rivers rose, the rains caused flooding of drains and roads. Some main roads in Honiara were flooded by mid-morning today.

A drain flowing out to the sea near the Baha’i area. Photo: Lowen Sei

The roads were flooded at Ranadi junction, opposite Solomon Islands National University’s Kukum campus at Vura junction, and at the Kukum shopping centre where Japanese contractors have been working to improve the roadway. Work on the road has had to be stopped.

Many businesses found their staff could not get to work, and teachers and students were not able to get to their schools.

In the absence of traffic police, groups of young people standing in knee-high water directed traffic. Most vehicles were driving with their lights on at slow speeds.

Rainfall was slowing by midday, but the flooding is expected to continue for some time. Observers note that Honiara and nearby peri-urban settlements and villages need a new drainage system that can cope with heavy rain.

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