Authorities in the UAE are working tirelessly to bring towns and cities in the eastern part of the country back to normal following the floods after heavy rains hit the region on Wednesday. Life has been affected in many localities as residents have restricted themselves indoors.
The weather in places like Kalba, Fujairah, and Khor Fakkan has turned cooler and temperatures have dropped to 31 degrees Celsius. Residents are opting to stay indoors and vehicular movement is minimum.
Shops and local establishments have yet to resume regular business. Many Fujairah residents lent a hand to small businesses as their shops started getting flooded. Shahji, a resident of Fujairah, along with friends, helped remove goods from a flooded sports shop near the Corniche. Many goods were damaged but they managed to save a considerable number of items.
A local grocer, who runs a shop near the Corniche, said that his shop was submerged for more than a day. “I woke up at 6am and could not get out of my building as there was nearly 4 feet of water around us, and the water had enetered my shop as well,” said Ashraful Rahman, owner of Rahman Grocery.
Rahman managed to move goods from his shop to a safer place and plans to restart once things get back to normal.
Scores of vehicles were either submerged in water or swept away by the floods. Recovery trucks were pressed into action to retrieve stranded vehicles.
Vehicle recovery agent, Mohammed Ghouse, said that he has rescued 21 cars from waterlogged areas since Thursday. “Trucks from Dubai and Sharjah have come to Fujairah to help people retrieve their vehicles. We are working round the clock to help people,” said Ghouse.
Recovery vehicle driver, Amir Mohammed, from came from Dubai to help out, said, “Many cars are submerged in deep water and it very difficult to recover them at the moment. As the water drains out, we will be able to recover them,” said Mohammed.
Vast stretches of roads have been washed away and authorities have swung into action to repair them. Mud has accumulated across primary roads. Hydraulic vehicles are being used to clear the pathways.
Underpasses connecting the Corniche to Fujairah Airport Road are blocked due to mud. Extraction trucks have been working round the clock to clear the roads.
Some stretches are still submerged in water and vehicular as well as pedestrian movement has been restricted in these areas. However, some SUVs and larger vehicles can be seen on these roads.
Pumping trucks belonging to the RTA and Dubai Municipality have been put into service to clear blockages and flooded roads. Sharafat Ali, along with 30 of his colleagues, from RTA have been working round the clock to pump water from the clogged roads. “We came here last evening and are working round the clock in shifts. We have 10 pumping machines helping us remove water from the flooded areas,” said Ali.
Ali said that it took nearly 12 hours to remove water from a stretch of road that is 300 metres long. About 15 of them were continuously working to drain water. “The water level was nearly 4-feet high. We pumped all the water. Only half a foot was left,” said Ali.
Ali and his friends are confident that water from the flooded streets will be drained over the next two days.
Even though the streets were flooded, many residents were seen making their way to mosques offer Jumuah prayers on Friday.
Amir Hussain Siddiq, a resident living near the Fujairah Fish Market was happy that he could go to the mosque to offer Friday prayers.
“I thought that the flood would not allow me to go out and I would have to miss my Jumuah prayers. Thanks to the Almighty that water level has gone down out and I could walk to the mosque to offer prayers,” said Siddiq.
Some residents even made makeshift rafts to travel across flooded areas.