Dry season storm wreaks havoc in Pattaya

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Sukhumvit Road was hit hardest, with the section near the Highway Department inundated with a half-meter of water.
Sukhumvit Road was hit hardest, with the section near the Highway Department inundated with a half-meter of water.

It never rains in Pattaya in January. It pours.

Heavy rain that blanked the eastern and central regions of Thailand Jan. 10 hit the city hard for only about two hours, but it was enough to plunge Pattaya into flooding chaos again. For all the talk from city hall about the improvements in drainage, it was obvious to nearly everyone much more work remains to be done.

Second and Third roads were more easily navigated by boat than bike, with 30-50 centimeters of water along the entire length of the critical thoroughfares. Backed-up sewers added insult to injury, with the water that people were forced to wade through contaminated with sewage.

Sukhumvit Road was hit hardest, with the section near the Highway Department inundated with a half-meter of water and motorbikes barred entirely from traversing the South Pattaya intersection.

There were some signs of progress, however. Beach Road, thanks to its three ugly, above-ground pumps, cleared nearly as rapidly as Jomtien Second Road, which drained in about an hour.

City officials deployed portable pumps to hard-hit areas and engineers worked to clear drains of garbage in South Pattaya to get the water drained in a bit over an hour.

Winter is the dry season for Thailand, but when it does rain, expect to have wet shoes.