By Olasunkanmi Akoni, Benjamin Njoku, Abdulwahab Abdullah, Bose Adebayo & Ifeanyi Okolie
LAGOS â€” IT was a harrowing experience for residents of Lagos, yesterday, as most parts of the metropolis were submerged in flood, following a downpour that lasted several hours.
The floods which followed what many called an unusual October rain, were made worse by the terrible state of the roads, as vehicles got stuck in potholes covered by floodwater.
Consequently, business activities were grounded as many people stayed back at home, especially due to heavy flooding of residential areas. Those who venture to leave their homes were stuck in traffic that lasted from morning into the night.
For those who dared to wade through the rain, they had to roll up their trousers and sleeves to paddle through the heavily flooded areas to their various destinations.
Most commercial bus and taxi operators parked stayed off the roads to avoid being stuck in the flood.
Several residential areas were flooded as some residents, in Egbeda area, a suburb of the state, were seen bailing out floodwater from their rooms. Others were seen trying to salvage their properties from the flood.
Also, residents of Ijeshatedo, in Surulere area of the state were seen bailing out water from their homes. Only the popular Adeshina Street in the area was spared by the flood.
In Sanya area, an old woman, nearly lost her life as she unknowingly walked into a big hole. But for the intervention of good samaritans, she would have been swept away by the raging flood.
At the state secretariat in Alausa, Ikeja, most of the workers were not at their duty posts
The areas which were especially flooded were Egbeda-Akowonjo, Abeokuta-Lagos Expressway, Allen Avenue, Oshodi-Apapa Express Road, Ikeja, Lagos Island, Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Oworonsoki expressway, Lekki and its environs among several other areas.
The access routes to many destinations were of little help in many cases as they were jammed by traffic.
Social miscreants who defied the rains made quick money by helping push broken-down vehicles from the flood.
The gridlock along Apapa-Oshodi expressway was endless. A motorist who was plying the road recounted his experience: â€œI left my home some minutes after noon, but only got to my office located around Berger yard at 4.30pm. I spent four hours between Cele bust stop and and Mile 2, a journey that ordinarily would have taken about 10 minutes.
Itâ€™s a horrible experience and an indication that our federal roads lack maintenance.â€
Another motorist whose vehicle eventually broke down on the road, Mike Okoye, narrated how he left his home at about 7. 20 am, to beat the rain only for him to end up on the road as his Toyota Camry car developed a problem.
â€œI just serviced my car last weekend, hoping to revisit my mechanic by the end of the month. Now I am stuck in the middle of the flood and my car canâ€™t start. I have contacted my mechanic but he told me that he cannot come down immediately because of the rain.
How on earth will I get the office today? Iâ€™m not even worried about all the clients that I have disappointed today. I will park it right here and board a bike to my office. I am completely confusedâ€. He lamented
The few commercial bus operators on the roads cashed in on the situation to make quick money as many were charging four times the normal fare. Many passengers were forced to cough out as much as N250 from Oshodi to Mile.
A commercial bus driver who spoke to Vanguard and identified himself as Kola Owolabi said â€œdays like this are very rare, but when they come weÂ utiliseÂ it. For the sake of the traffic, we have increased our fare from Oshodi. It is an opportunity to make money.â€