Heavy Downpour Paralyzes Lagos as Severe Flooding and Traffic Chaos Ensue

By Joke Kujenya

A TORRENTIAL downpour early Wednesday morning left Lagos residents stranded in their homes and streets flooded, causing severe disruption across the state.

The rain, which began around 3.00a.m., led to significant flooding and gridlock in diverse areas in the metropolis including Olopo Meji, Third Mainland Bridge, Ikeja, Ibeju-Lekki, and Isheri Oshun.

Responding, Lagos Commissioner for Environment, Tokunbo Wahab addressed the situation, urging residents to remain calm.

He explained that the flash flood resulted from the intense and prolonged rainfall combined with the current high tidal level of the lagoon.

Wahab assured the public that the floodwaters would recede within a few hours as the tidal levels decreased, allowing rainwater to drain into the lagoon.

“The Olopo Meji situation is a flash flood due to the high intensity of the rain and its long duration, coupled with the high tidal lagoon level. Rest assured, it will go away in about one to two hours,” Wahab stated.

He further updated that the Emergency Flood Abatement Gang (EFAG) from the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources was deployed to monitor and clear the flood at Olopo Meji.

By midday, the roads were reportedly free from rainwater, he attested.

Despite these assurances, many Lagosians expressed their frustration over the flooding and the subsequent traffic gridlock.

Commuters struggled to navigate through the waterlogged streets, and economic activities were significantly disrupted as the social media space got flooded with videos and posts from residents showing the extent of the flooding and advising others to stay home.

Media reports display posts shared by residents noting; “This is Gbagada to 7-up inward Third Mainland Bridge. Stay home if you have no business on the island,” one resident, Chu Osakwe, posted on his X handle.

Another user, Mochievous, advised, “If your route this morning is mainland to island via Third Mainland Bridge, just forget it. Turn back home or reroute. The beginning of Third Mainland is car door height flooded. I’ve never seen that on the bridge before.”

Reports also note that the flooding caused massive traffic jams, with heavy congestion extending from Iyana Oworo to Alapere.

Many commuters reported that their routes were nearly impassable, causing long delays and significant discomfort.

Also, schools around White Sand Estate, Isheri-Osun, located in the Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, have closed their doors due to heavy rains and subsequent flooding, disrupting normal activities.

The estate, known for frequent flooding, experienced significant inundation during Wednesday’s downpour, with water levels inside homes reaching mid-level heights.

Students and residents who grapple with severe conditions say that many are unable to move freely within their own homes as floodwaters submerge living spaces.

Schools in the area, prioritizing student safety, also suspended operations for the day, including school bus services, citing the hazardous conditions.

Visits to the scene revealed flooded streets impassable to vehicles and motorcycles, posing risks to pedestrians with obscured drainage channels.

A Public Relations Officer of the local CDC, Johnson Olabode, expressed frustration over the recurring flooding, lamenting the lack of effective water management despite early morning efforts to mitigate damage.

“We’re facing this again this year. Our homes are submerged, and until the rain stops, we can’t begin to clear the water,” Olabode said.

A resident voiced her despair over the ongoing challenges saying that the rain has invaded her home again because she resides in Whitesand Estate, Isheri-Osun.

Locals are said to have repeatedly called upon the Lagos State Government for urgent intervention to address these recurring challenges.

Neighboring areas like Iyana-Oworo, Oshodi, and Lagos Island, are not spared as flooding halted business activities.

In response to the widespread distress, Wahab reiterated that the flash flood was a temporary situation and assured that measures were in place to address it promptly, stating affirmatively that a swift resolution and clearer skies are underway.

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