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buadhai

Korat Highway Nightmare

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Went in to Korat yesterday afternoon to take a look at the OTOP fair. We arrived at the fairgrounds (near the city hall) at about 3:30, umbrellas in hand. Shortly after we arrived it started to pour. In fact, it rained so hard, so intensely and with such volume that it quickly became the worse rain I've ever seen, and I've lived in the tropics all my adult life and have been through many typhoons.

We soon decided to abandon the fair and make our way back to the car. Downtown Korat was already completely flooded with water lapping the sidewalks and, in places, going right up and into shop doors.

We stopped for coffee at the lovely Dok Som, but the downpour didn't let up. We arrived back at the car about 5:00 PM to find the floodwaters almost up to the bottom of the car doors.

We slowly made our way to Mittrapap Highway and headed home. That's when the fun began. The highway was totally flooded, heavily congested with the traffic at a standstill. At one point we looked down a side street and saw someone walking in flood waters that were waist deep. The traffic was so slow that both of us were able to separately leave the car to use the toilet at a gas station.

By 8:00 PM we had been in the car for three hours and had moved only about 3 kilometers. We pulled into a hotel (KS Pavilion) we happened to be near at that point and had dinner. The parking lot of the hotel had about 30 centimeters of water covering it. We heard on the radio that the highway was totally flooded and impassable in the vicinity of The Mall. We also heard that some sort of electrical accident was causing further congestion.

Dinner was over at 9:15 and the highway was still at a standstill.

So, we just checked in and spent the night.

We later learned that the rest of the family made it home at about 10:30, but only by avoiding Mittrapap and by driving from downtown Korat to Ban Mai via Jo Ho -- a detour of about 30K. But, at least they made it!

During the our entire trip, we only saw two policemen. They were at the Big C intersection, but could do little to alleviate the situation. In hindsight, the authorities should have stopped anyone from entering Mittrapap from central Korat. They also should have diverted traffic off the highway wherever possible, and should have emptied the highway by directing U-turns at every intersection.

Of course, TIT, so instead of doing anything constructive, the authorities simply left thousands of us sitting in our vehicles, wasting fuel and making absolutely no headway.

I guess all the Boys in Brown were back at the TOT Fair taking care of the Governor and Mayor....

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Darn, this saga sounds like my old expat days in Bangkok and the flooding we had to deal with there. Well, as they say, "all's well that ends well". I'm getting ready to leave Taco now heading for Korat and then on to Surin. Sure hope they have the mess straightened out by now or by the time I get there in about an hour. :o

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On the positive side, at least you guys are getting some rain now... :o

You know, a lot of the drainage blockages in these side streets are caused by the streetside vendors pouring their used cooking oil into the drains, sweeping rubbish and dirt down them... it all accumulates and clogs up the system. One decent rain will not wash it away. :D

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On the positive side, at least you guys are getting some rain now...  :o

Indeed. It is more than welcome....

You know, a lot of the drainage blockages in these side streets are caused by the streetside vendors pouring their used cooking oil into the drains, sweeping rubbish and dirt down them... it all accumulates and clogs up the system.  One decent rain will not wash it away.  :D

Exactly right. We haven't had a heavy rain in at least six weeks. (I know, because I haven't heard the frogs croak in that long....) So, there is tons of junk blocking the drains. On my morning run I pass over a larger culvert under the road. But, it's almost totally blocked with garbage and accumulated week growth. So, the water overflows the road and re-enters the stream on the other side. Yesterday morning I had to wade through a foot of water that should have been passing under, not over, the road.

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Yes, about 130km east of Korat same situation, as it always is whilst having heavy rains.

but we do (that means particularly the rice farmers) are very happy with the amount of water we are finally getting after waiting more than six weeks :D

and a sufficient drainage system up here in mid-isaan will not be forthcoming for this generation, I fear. :o

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not seen such a flood from 5 years here in korat...

ok every year here and there a small flood but,

you just came wrong day, few places had 1 meter high waters on some Sois...

Still it is strange that the Lamtakong dam lake is empty !

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