Relief in sight for flooded Dubai

Forecasts for emirate predict rain will clear by Wednesday afternoon bringing relief to motorists.
Relief in sight for flooded Dubai
By Joel Bowman
Tue 15 Jan 2008 05:56 PM

Weather forecasts for the emirate, which has been plagued by traffic congestion since Sunday, predict rain will clear by Wednesday afternoon bringing with it relief for tens of thousands of motorists in the city.

Sunshine is expected to break rain, caused by a low pressure system hovering over the emirates, by mid-afternoon.

The deluge is expected to surpass the previous January rainfall record of 81.9mm, according to Dubai’s weather bureau.

Since Monday evening, 52mm of rain had flooded Dubai with a further 34.6mm on Tuesday morning leaving many roads at an absolute impasse.

High water levels caused Emirates Road, Airport Road and all roads linking Dubai to Sharjah to be shut down Monday afternoon due to severe flooding and heavy traffic.

Police were kept busy diverting all traffic bound for Sharjah back to Dubai with heavy rains and traffic congestion making the journey impossible for most motorists.

Police had attended over 500 accidents by early Tuesday morning as drivers skidded out of control in the slippery conditions. Chaos on the roads claimed at least two lives in Dubai and another two in Abu Dhabi.

Motorists had been stuck in mile-long queues since early Tuesday morning, switching their motors off as pelting rain flooded highways and arterial roads throughout the city.

Tuesday’s road closures mark the third consecutive day of traffic chaos in Dubai after rain disrupted commuters on Sunday and the arrival of president Bush forced the city to shut down completely on Monday.

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