After heavy floods, Patong Hill road reopens to some traffic

PHOTO: Patong Hill road reopens after flash floods last night. (via Phuket Info Centre)

While officials now believe it will take months to fully repair the storm-damaged motorway over Patong Hill, the road has been partially reopened to limited traffic this morning. The reopening comes after a night of heavy rain caused flash flooding all around the island. Kathu and Phuket Town were particularly hard-hit by the torrential downpours.

Amid the heavy rains in dangerous conditions, Patong police closed down the entry checkpoint at Wat Patong to the road over the hill at 10pm. Their counterparts on the other side of the hill close their checkpoint at 10.30pm, barring all traffic from accessing the dangerous roadway.

Once the rain subsided, officials reopened the Patong Hill road at 7.30am. The road was not open to all traffic though, with only foot traffic and motorbikes allowed across both directions. Large cargo trucks were not allowed on the road at all. And cars, passenger vans, and pickup trucks for granted Passage only coming downhill from Patong to Kathu. The same car types are not allowed to travel in the opposite direction yet.

The road was first closed a few weeks ago after heavy rains caused damage. Officials first reopened the road to foot traffic only. Then when the roads were stabilised a week later, authorities began to allow motorbikes to pass over Patong Hill. The road had just been reopened to small car traffic when it had to be shut down again two days later due to safety risks. Officials found that, despite using the road lane closest to the embankment, the weight of cars travelling over it widened the cracks that already existed at the edge of the road, according to the Phuket Info Centre.

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Workers are still dealing with the aftermath of landslides, trying to stabilize the road by reinforcing the embankment. After the heavy rains of last night, workers were able to continue this morning.

Around the rest of the island, cleanup Crews were dispatched to help stabilize areas that were flooded last night due to the big storm. Many roads are underwater and close, and homes were also flooded. No major roads are bridges were reported as being damaged, a major clean-up was needed according to The Phuket News.

After 5 hours of torrential rain, officials fired up the water pumps to try to clear the streets as quickly as possible. Though the water subsided, many roads were covered in mud and required cleanup. Flooding from the rain was intense, but Phuket Town dodged a bullet as the water in the Bang Yai Canal rose to dangerously high levels but did not overflow.

Phuket News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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