It was an experience Lagosians would love to forget. They had gone out for their daily endeavours but to return home on Monday night was challenging, no thanks to the heavy downpour and the consequent flood-induced traffic that lasted till the early hours of the next day.
The rainfall, which started around 7.30 pm when most city dwellers were on their way home from work, caused heavy traffic as most of the roads were flooded and, in most cases, impassable for vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
Worst hit were Ikorodu Road, Isolo-Mushin Road, Agege Motor Road, Igando-Ikotun Road, Lagos-Abeokuta Road, Isheri Osun-Jakande Estate Road and several others. The Idi-oro/Ojuwoye was extensively flooded and completely inaccessible.
Although the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NIMET) had predicted heavy rain this year, Monday’s rainfall appears to have attested to the prediction and signs of what is to come in days and months ahead.
Despite repeated calls to clean-up the environment and dispose waste at the appropriate places, many Lagosians seem yet to heed this call.
This writer, who was stuck in traffic during the duration of the heavy downpour, observed that some residents chose that period to dispose refuse openly, thereby compounding the already dire situation.
A trader in Mushin who pleaded anonymity lamented that “it is a very bad habit for people to be disposing their waste into the rain water.”
“It is a common habit for people around Mushin. Once the rain starts, they will now go and bring out their waste. People will continue to blame government. See, is it government that threw these waste into the water? Of course, not. Sometimes you see people throwing pillows and all kinds of stuffs, this is bad,” she said.
She explained that, at a point, residents had to block the drainage in front of their shops because of the kind of waste that people threw into the drainage that ended up blocking the drainage channel and resulting in serious flooding in their compounds.
The thunderstorm also led to the loss of supply from two power stations to the international wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, temporarily halting flight operations at the facility.
The terminal building was thrown into darkness for about six minutes due to a power surge from the two main PHCN power supply sources to the airport. The airport is connected to two main power sources from Ejigbo and Egbin power stations.
The storm initially knocked-off the power supply from Ejigbo which led to a three-minute outage at the airport before the agency’s engineers switched over to the alternate power supply source from Egbin which also was later affected by the storm, leading to another three-minute power outage.
By Kayode Aboyeji