@Green January/February 2022 - Page 9

January-February , 2022 | @ green



Is it a one-time thing ?

Our writer was a victim of the recent Selangor floods and says it serves as a reminder of climate change and extreme weather

MANY AREAS in Selangor and Klang Valley were hit by significant floods last December . This happened after a few days of continuous downpour .

Even though the flooding phenomenon is expected to happen around that time on the east coast , no one has seen it coming to this golden State of Malaysia on a massive scale . The floods have claimed more than 20 lives in Selangor alone to date .
The day was Saturday , Dec 18 . I was still in Shah Alam for the Halal Selangor Media Familiarisation Trip . It was our final day , and we were set to finish the trip around 1.0pm . We had our lunch in Setia Alam before preparing to go back to Kuala Lumpur .
It was already flooding at the Setia Alam Toll . Many cars could not pass through the floods and had to stop at the roadside . Fortunately , our vehicles could pass through the area , but the exit to Shah Alam was already closed .
I did not know much about the route , but we finally got into Shah Alam via Bukit Raja . If you ’ re familiar with Seksyen 7 area , you will know that there ’ s a lake near UITM Shah Alam where people usually go for picnics and jogging . There ’ s no hint that the place was a recreational park , to our surprise ! The water level had risen so high that it was the same level as the road .
We tried every exit to Kuala Lumpur , but every route was flooded . It was a continuous game of waiting and trying . Not to sound dramatic , but it was the closest I had ever been to an apocalypse movie .
“ We will see and try this exit . It is our last resort . If not , we have to wait until the water recedes ,” said one of us .
We tried the said exit and failed to go through the floods . Then around 6 pm , we finally decided to rest at Shah Alam City Centre Mall . I felt bad for the drivers because it was already tiring even as a passenger .
Water enters the house
Long story short , my father , accompanied by my brother , decided to pick me up at the mall . From our house , they had to take a longer route via Jalan Kapar . The journey back home was pretty blurry . The rain showed no sign of stopping . The water had risen on the road , but cars could still pass by .
When we reached home , the water entered our house through the kitchen and bedroom . It was the first time for us to experience such a thing , so we were pretty much unprepared .
It was nearly midnight when the water entered through the front sliding door into our living area . Realising that it could worsen , we decided to move into my aunt ’ s house , located two kilometres away .
My aunt ’ s house was on high ground . The water did not enter the house , but we were practically living on an island . We had to park the car on the main road and walk to the house , braving through the floods .
On our first night there , we felt a mix
of relief and worry . The rain would not stop pouring , and we had no idea how bad it had affected our house . But scrolling through social media and seeing how Malaysians helped each other out warmed our hearts .
A new experience
We went back home the next day to pick up some clothes , and the water level at the compound was already up to our calves . Many of my father ’ s chickens were already dead and floating in the water . There was nothing much that could have been done . So , we just continued staying at my aunt ’ s house , and my father would go back every day to check on the house ’ s condition .
The broken bund from a nearby village did us no favours either . The water had finally receded after five days , although we had to wait longer for the bedroom since it was on the lower ground . My uncle , aunt and cousins helped clean the living area as some furniture could no longer be used . My family and I finally returned to our house after two weeks .
We were among the fortunate . At least the floodwaters carried no mud into our house . Although it did bring some smell from the chicken coop , everyone was safe . It took some time to pump out the water as the water level was still high outside the house . I could not imagine the feelings of those who experience the floods every year ; it was a lot of hard work .
Things happened in the blink of an eye . It just never occurred to me that I would be affected by the floods and stranded in the city of Shah Alam . It might just be an experience for me , lazy weather to few ( sic ), but it was a disaster to many .
My experience was not as bad as those stranded on their roof for hours waiting for help and those who lost their loved ones .
This experience does make me wonder . As said by some , this major flood incident will be only a one-time thing ? Or is this the result of climate change ?
Maybe it is time for the authorities to address this issue on a bigger scale . Hopefully , it does not take many more lives for them to rectify the problem . — @ Green
This experience does make me wonder . As said by some , this major flood incident will be only a one-time thing ? Or is this the result of climate change ?