BACOLOD CITY–A heavy downpour lasting three hours on Saturday, January 16, resulted in the flooding of at least five barangays in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, alarming residents, some of whom were forced to evacuate their inundated homes.
According to Mayor Renato Gustilo, the sheer volume of rainwater that came rushing down from the mountains quickly overwhelmed the city’s rivers and creeks.
“Our water system couldn’t hold the amount of water so it overflowed onto the streets and into houses in Brgys. 1, 5, 6, and parts of Brgy. 2 and Rizal,” he said, adding that areas in the city proper, including Don Julio Subdivision and Don Juan, became flooded, too.
By the time the downpour subsided at 11 p.m., 101 households made up of more than 400 individuals were in distress one way or another.
“This is the first time San Carlos was flooded by waist-high waters,” Gustilo said.
Engr. Arthur Batomalaque, Senior Environment Management Specialist of the City Environment Management Office (CEMO), was quick to point out that the presence of plastic wastes in the waterways, though a problem by itself, was not the cause of the flood.
“The fact that the floodwaters subsided shortly after the rains ended is an indication the drainage system is not clogged,” he said.
However, based on an aerial shot obtained by Iloilo News, some areas in the city were still swamped as of noontime Sunday.
As this developed, Batomalaque revealed plans to widen the waterways, including the exits of creeks and rivers, especially in Brgy. 1, which is an identified flood-prone area.
Gustilo said they are still studying the possibility of placing San Carlos City under a state of calamity./(Eugene Y. Adiong/INews-Bacolod/Negros Bureau)