The Great Phuket Town Flood of 2022

This is NOT the post I had planned for today, Sunday the 16th of October 2022. In Phuket Town, Sunday evenings are reserved for the popular Walking Street known locally as Lard Yai. I highly doubt that tonight’s event will go ahead, however.

It has been raining here for weeks. It is the Monsoon Season, after all. But Phuket Town has largely been spared the massive flooding that so much of the rest of Thailand has experienced over the last two or three months. There have been a few high-water days over in Patong but this part of the island has not seen large-scale flooding for a number of years now.

Water World garb — rain poncho and the ever-present facemask. I also had my umbrella to protect my phone while taking photos and video clips.

Even before the deep waters of September 2017 (the record-breaker), the municipal government here was working hard to remove branches and other debris that clogged the khlongs (canals) that criss-cross the community. Drains were widened and additional measures were put into place to prevent flooding. Because of this, I have not seen significant water on road surfaces around here in quite some time.

The municipality had their personnel out blocking vehicular access to flooded roads, clearing stuff floating down the canals, and generally looking after their citizens.
Post Office corner (Th. Montri going north and south, entering the western section of Th. Thalang).

Thus, I was somewhat surprised this morning to observe extremely high water along Suthat Road near Seng Ho (the oldest bookshop in Phuket), particularly in the alleyway running between that and 7-Eleven. I ended up walking down Montri Road to the intersection past the post office (with Trickeye Museum leading west to the bus station) and then east down Phang Nga Road.

These Russian tourists were returning from an excursion when their mini-van had to stop on its way to the Bus Terminal. They decided to wait for the waters to recede rather than wade through this intersection. There was a bit of high ground nearby, another flooded intersection, then the remainder of the way to the station looked like it was walkable.

The water came to just above my knees in the intersection right after where the mini-van shown above was stopped.

The areas crossing the canal bridges and intersections bisected by Thepkassatri Road had fast-flowing water (nearly swept me off my feet on Thalang Road). It was deepest on Yaoworat Road heading north from the intersection with Phang Nga Road. The back portion of my soi (lane) had deep water and my neighbors were trying to pack sandbags around the entrances to their homes.

Truck and bicycle on Montri Road
Philatelic Museum and Post Office

Quite an interesting morning — I shot a lot of video (and have put the clips into yet another 35-minute YouTube video) as well as a number of still photos. I am worried about my neighbors with small businesses; they have already been struggling and it appeared that customers and tourists had finally started to turn the tables once again. I hope these flood waters go down soon (but much more rain is forecast for at least the next several days) and they suffer minimal damage and loss of inventory.

Intersection of Montri Road and Phang Nga Road
Bus terminal to the left, 3D Museum on the right

Phang Nga Road approaching the canal and Talat Yai Police Station (clock tower)

North-south canal has gone over its banks

Intersection of Phang Nga and Phuket Roads

The symbol of Phuket, flooded…

The old Chartered Bank (first foreign-owned bank in Phuket) looking up Phang Nga Road with Thepkassatri Road entering from the right. The current was quite strong here.

CUE Bar on Phang Nga Road
Greenhigh Shop on Phang Nga Road

Juitee Haus, Phang Nga Road
On On Hotel, Phang Nga Road
Queen Sirikit 72nd Birthday Park, Thalang Road

Bangkok Bank and Kasikorn Bank on Phang Nga Road

On On Hotel on Phang Nga Road — Phuket Town’s first hotel and made famous by Leonardo diCaprio in The Beach.

On On Hotel lobby
This SUV ended up reversing as the waters were too deep for it.

Phuket Desert Bar on Phang Nga Road
Heading northward on Yaoworat Road towards Thalang and Krabi Roads

Hogs Head Pub and Kim’s Massage on Yaoworat Road

Looking south down Yaoworat Road from near the Thalang-Krabi Roads intersection

Looking west from Yaoworat Road down Krabi Road
Looking east from Yaoworat Road down Thalang Road

Looking north from Thalang Road down Soi Rommannee. This was the Chinese Red-Light District in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Now it is home to several cafes, a seashell shop, and a couple of awesome ice cream parlors.

The intersection of Thalang and Thepkassatri Roads saw very strong currents. People were helping others to cross here. I nearly lost my footing several times.

Looking south from Thalang Road down Thepkassatri Road

Mid-channel crossing Thepkassatri Road at Thalang Road. The current was STRONG!!

Water crossing over the bridge on Thalang Road

Queen Sirikit Park was a bit wet…
but Limelight was an island. My office/classroom is on the second floor of this building.

The exit from Limelight shopping center back down into my street.
The deepest water I saw all day covered most of my neighborhood.

The municipality was just delivering sandbags as I approached my home.
Seems to me a case of “too little too late” as most houses are full of water. I pitched in and helped.

One thought on “The Great Phuket Town Flood of 2022

  1. Pingback: Sunday Summary #10 | Mark Joseph Jochim

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