Pattaya’s New Flood Drainage System Fails First Test

Pattaya flooding February 16 Sukhumvit Road

It’s the same old story each year when heavy flooding during the annual rainy season regularly turns the streets of Pattaya into some kind of little Venice: City officials spend an awful lot of money on bigger drainage pipelines and other flood prevention measures and promise that next year, eventually, things will actually improve.
This year was no exception, except for the fact that the local administration spent more money than ever on flood control. Only last month, an ambitious construction project that saw the installation of bigger drainage pipelines in Pattaya was completed. The (urgently needed) upgrade cost Pattaya City a whopping 193 million Baht.
The Bangkok Post reports:

Beach Road (…) had been the focus of a five-month construction project that saw the installation of new drainage pipelines as wide as two metres and as long as 1.2 kilometres under side streets at the far north and south ends of Beach Road as well as under Soi 6/1. (…)

City officials repeatedly have insisted that the 193-million-baht project would finally alleviate the need for massive pumps on the beachfront and end flooding (…)

A commendable project serving the public good, no doubt. But has the flooding situation really improved after the heavy investment of nearly 200 million Baht?
This Tuesday, the expensive new drainage system was finally put to a first test when Pattaya – surprisingly early this year – saw the first heavy rainfall since the end of last year’s rainy season. To come to the point: The massive new drainage pipelines miserably failed the test. continued below

Pattaya flooding February 16 South Pattaya

After just an hour of heavy rainfall starting from 3.30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, there was “water washing over sidewalks, streets and onto the beach.” As usual, the Bangkok Post reports, Pattaya Beach Road and Sukhumvit Road were hit hardest by the untimely downpour, with floodwaters reportedly as deep as half a metre, “bringing the eastern province’s main artery to a standstill for an hour even after the rain stopped.”
Granted, the flooding was reportedly not as bad as in previous years when similarly heavy rains hit Pattaya. But it obviously goes without saying that much still remains to be done before the rainy season really kicks off (and that’s just in about half a year from now in this part of the country.)

The video embedded below taken by fellow blogger David Herd gives you an idea of what parts of Pattaya looked like after an hour of heavy pre-wet season rainfall Tuesday afternoon:

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