Sep 29 2011
There was actually a bit of a festive air down by Chiang Mai’s Ping this morning — not that the poor folks with homes and businesses along the riverside or in the worse hit suburbs downstream would have been in party moods — but locals and tourists turned out en masse with cameras and videos to capture the more spectacular sights and stand around chatting in the sunshine.
Maybe a lot of people were just relieved that the damage was considerably less than it could have been? Water levels in some places had already gone down by this morning from an overnight high, though in other areas appeared to be rising. Sandbagging and pumps seem to have been effective in the Worarot district and Chiang Mii and Tha Pae Roads were free of water, though east of the river levels were definitely increasing. (see Chiang Mai street map here.)
The night bazaar had around 20-30 cms of water as did Charoen Prathet Road and Loi Kroh, from around Soi 2 eastwards, some 3040 cms. Many of the sois (side streets) off Loi Kroh were also inundated, though passable.
Conditions worsened however moving south and Sridonchai Road was up to waste depth in parts with reports of 1.5m levels down Chang Klan Road. East of the Ping Charoen Rat Road was under 50 cm to a metre of water but the worst-hit areas seemed to be the southern suburbs close to the river, such as Nong Hoi, and we could see army and council trucks plus boats evacuating citizens from that direction.
The Ping was still very high — in fact it was only being held back by sandbags in some places — and though blue skies and sun may temporarily help dry out downtown somewhat, what happens will depend upon the weather further upstream.
The current in the river itself is very strong so do not approach the river and be careful walking around — there are certainly holes and varied obstructions hidden under the brown flood water. Sewers have backed up so flood water is potentially pretty filthy so rinse off with heavy duty soap afterwards — oh and keep away from any cables or anything electric too!
Anyway… train services were still halted today though flights were as per normal and we’ve not heard of any major road disruptions. That’s all for now — and take care out there. (Note: info and photos as of around midday local time, September 29).
Travelfish.org always pays its way. No exceptions.