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Lagos bridges, flooded as thunderstorm wreaks havoc in Oregun

By Bertram Nwannekanma and Jesutomi Akomolafe
07 April 2022   |   4:10 am
Vehicular movement in parts of Lagos was, yesterday, hampered for hours following an early morning downpour.

Tricycle trapped under a fallen billboard

Lagos urges residents to be cautious
Vehicular movement in parts of Lagos was, yesterday, hampered for hours following an early morning downpour.

The rain came barely a week after the State Government predicted a high density of rainfall, starting from April 6, in the island, Ikeja and other parts of the state.

Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, had during a briefing on the 2022 seasonal climate predictions and socio-economic implications for the state, noted that Lagos Island is expected to have a rainfall onset date as April 6, cessation date as  November 30 and a total rainfall amount of 1627mm.

He stressed that the peculiarity of Lagos, as a coastal state and its strategic position as the economic hub of the nation, has necessitated the need to disseminate crucial information on the 2022 climate prediction to prepare people ahead of the likely consequences of the rains and other relevant weather parameters.

As predicted, the rainfall in Ikeja and its environs was intense, resulting in multiple crashes in the Oregun area of the state.

Apart from multiple crashes caused by poor visibility, the rain, which came with a thunderstorm, affected some billboards as some, including road signs, were blown down on the road.

A motorist, Kunle Akintola, said: “Only rain, Lagos roads are in trouble.”

According to him, but for divine providence, the situation could have been worse, considering the human and vehicular traffic on the road when the incident occurred.

Similarly, motorists plying the Lagos- Ibadan Expressway had hectic time wading through flooded parts of the Long and Otedola bridges.

Since the reconstruction of the road by Julius Berger Plc, the two bridges have been retaining a large volume of water, any time it rains, thereby impeding free flow of traffic.

A motorist, Olatunji Ojo, who plied the road inwards Lagos at about 9:57a.m, yesterday, said traffic was static, stagnant, dull and sluggish on Long bridge from the first Red Roof section of the bridge.

According to him, some motorists who were impatient and couldn’t stand the traffic, took the earth road, although with caution as for most part it was slippery due the downpour.

Similarly, parts of Otedola bridge carried a large volume of water that caused traffic up till Berger bus stop.

Lead Strategist and Chief Executive Officer of Absolute Public Relations Limited, Akonte Ekine, who was caught up in the rain, lamented that urgent steps needed to be taken to prevent flooding on the bridges as well as protect motorists.

Crashed cars after the incident

Some residents, who spoke with The Guardian said the crash at Oregun caused panic in the area.

According to them, the crash also locked down Kudirat Way, Radio and Welfare area of the road.

A security guard along Kudirat Way, Damilade Olaita, said: “The signboard fell across the road at about 9:00a.m. It affected a trailer and two vehicles. The vehicles all hit each other. But there were no casualties, before officials of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) came.”

Assistant Director, Public Affairs, LASTMA, Filade Olumide, in a statement, said a lane on Kudirat way had been opened to traffic.

“ One lane on Kudirat Way has been opened, that is from Radio inwards Welfare, while movement from Welfare proceeding to Radio is still closed. Our men are on ground doing what is expected,” the statement read.

MEANWHILE, the affected vehicles have been removed, while normalcy has returned to the area.

But, Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, said it is expected that the recent increasing frequency of extreme weather events will continue in 2022 with days of extremely high rainfall amounts, which may result in flooding.

He called for caution as strong winds are expected during the onset and cessation of every rainfall.

Bello noted that the construction of Lagos network of weather stations has commenced and will soon reach completion stage.

This, he said, “would assist us to monitor the weather in the state as well as increase its preparedness for weather related issues.”

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