Tuas checkpoint jams, canopies fall amid gusts
TWO fallen canopies amid howling winds at the Tuas Checkpoint caused a massive jam for motorists heading into Singapore from Johor during the morning peak hour yesterday.
The canopies at the arrival motorcycle and car lanes fell due to strong winds and heavy rain, said the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
Dire weather conditions played havoc with the traffic elsewhere, too, as rain fell and winds gusted across the island. The highest wind speed recorded yesterday was 61.1kmh at Pasir Panjang at 6am.
The falling canopies at Tuas Checkpoint led to an accident at 5.35am. A Malaysian motorcyclist and his pillion rider were injured, and an ambulance took them to Ng Teng Fong Hospital.
ICA then advised motorists to stop using the checkpoint while it served those already queueing there.
The fallen canopies were finally cleared at 1.45pm, after which operations at the checkpoint returned to normal.
Some cars had to be diverted.
One of these belonged to a Singaporean living in Johor Baru who was driving his daughter to school in Singapore.
He had cleared Malaysian Customs at about 5.40am.
The 48-year-old, who did not wish to reveal his name, told The Straits Times that he was stuck in a jam for about 15 minutes.
"Considering the heavy downpour, I think the redirection of traffic was done in an orderly manner," he noted.
Elsewhere, there were sudden heavy downpours at around 6am, and accidents and heavy traffic at several expressways yesterday, including the Pan-Island Expressway and Bukit Timah Expressway.
There was also an accident on Lornie Road, towards Queensway. At about 8am, there was heavy traffic on Lor-nie and Braddell roads, stretching till Woodleigh.
The Meteorological Service Singapore had said on Monday that the first two weeks of this month will be drier and warmer than the second half of July.
But it noted that thundery showers with gusty winds were likely on one to two days in the pre-dawn and morning.