Pattaya’s mayor demanded all his department heads work together, around the clock, to prevent and relieve flooding problems that continue to plague the city.
Meeting with all related offices Sept. 3, Sonthaya Kunplome said Pattaya still suffers damaging floods often because the many drainage-improvement projects aren’t finished.
Engineering head Anuwat Laothongkum, director of the Sanitary Engineering Office, agreed that many drainage pipes under the city are too small to accommodate the water flowing from higher ground to the east, but said careless development also contributed to the chronic flooding.
In areas such as Soi Nongyai, Sukhumvit Soi 45, Soi Wat Boonsamphan, the railway-parallel road, Soi Khao Talo, and Soi Nong Krabok, natural canals and reservoirs were paved over and real estate developments built on top of them, leaving water nowhere to go but down through the streets.
The water then pools in all the same places, including Sukhumvit Road in South Pattaya, the Mum Aroi intersection on Third Road, the railway road and Beach Road, Anuwat said.
Pattaya is uprooting old, small pipes and replacing them with large pipelines and even pumps on Pattaya Beach, Soi Photisan in Naklua, Sukhumvit Soi 45 and under the railway road, but none of those jobs except Pattaya Beach is done. Furthermore, a larger 600-million-baht drainage project won’t be done for years.
Sonthaya said everyone was angry and distressed by the massive flooding that hit Pattaya on Aug. 27, but the mayor pointed out it was the heaviest rainfall the city had seen in years.
Nonetheless, it showed that city workers need to do better at preventing, mitigating and cleaning up after flooding, Sonthaya said.
The city should be split into zones with numerous departments responsible for monitoring weather forecasts and flood preparation in each zone. Equipment such as pumps must be staged in advance of storms, sewers should be dredged and officers deployed to keep traffic moving once the rain starts.
Once the rain stops, city workers need to quickly survey flood zones, determine the damage and quickly assist residents and business owners with repairs, Sonthaya said.