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17 April 2024

Briton living in Dubai says floods are ‘crazy’ as torrential rain hits region

17 April 2024

A British man who relocated to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has said the flooding in the region has been “crazy” as he described seeing cars “fully submerged” in water.

Jake McCulloch, 24, who moved from Maldon in Essex to Dubai in November, said he “hasn’t seen anything like” the “torrential” rain and flooding experience in recent days.

Mr McCulloch, who works in finance, said he had to wade through knee-deep water to get to his car on Tuesday to drive to his office at Dubai Marina.

“It’s been absolutely crazy, I’ve haven’t really ever seen anything like it,” Mr McCulloch told the PA news agency.

“There’s cars fully submerged under the water, I’m talking up to the roof.

“Driving back today, I’ve seen around 50 cars on the side of the road that are just completely written off.”

The downpour began late on Monday and by the end of Tuesday, more than 142mm (5.6in) of rainfall had soaked the desert city over 24 hours. In an average year 94.7mm (3.73in) of rain is recorded at Dubai International Airport on the Persian Gulf coast.

The State-run WAM news agency said it was “a historic weather event” that surpassed “anything documented since the start of data collection in 1949”.

Mr McCulloch, who lives on the third floor of a four-storey apartment block in the Jumeirah Village Triangle, said most of the apartments in the building are leaking or flooded.

“Our neighbours had their ceiling fall through and my roommate’s bedroom was leaking through the door seals and the ceiling, and his whole room was probably an inch underwater,” he said.

“In the basement and outside my apartment (the water) is over two-and-a-half metres deep – everything is flooded.”

Mr McCulloch said Tuesday had been the worst day, with “nonstop” rainfall and storms.

“It went from cloudy to, within half an hour, 45 minutes, to complete blackout with torrential rain and storms all through the night,” he said.

“We had a complete power outage (on Tuesday) for about five hours. We didn’t have any power, any air con, so we were in the dark for a good few hours.

“At the start, I was quite shocked and I didn’t think it was going to get as bad as it did.

“As the water started coming up to my apartment entrance, everyone was panicking.”

Mr McCulloch said he went to his building’s basement when it was “half full” of water and “chest deep” to help residents remove items from their vehicles.

“We were moving cars, getting baby stuff out for people, a lot of people were very stressed,” he said.

“You could see they were scared and a lot of people had to move out last night and go elsewhere.”

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