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Flooding in Davao

Even though Davao City is not in the Typhoon Belt, it does not mean we did not get the effect of Tropical Storm Ketsana (Ondoy). As many of you know from watching the news Manila was slammed as well as many other locations on the island of Luzon. One report, an area received more rain from this storm than they usually get in a month. Streets and homes were flooded and there were many deaths reported.

Saturday morning we woke up to pouring rain. It worried us because we had plans to meet Elena’s group of lady friends and 2 other husbands at the Marco Polo Hotel to use the pool. As we were getting ready, the rain slowed down and shortly after arriving at the hotel, the rain did stop. After we went for lunch and then to meet a couple we are friends with. It drizzled a little on and off later but never any heavier rain.

Today, Sunday, as always we went to Agdao Public market and then later to Gaisano Mall for lunch and the rest of our marketing. It was nice and cool outside with thick cloudy skies. My only thought was how nice it was instead if the usual humid heat. As the afternoon progressed it did get darker out, but I did not think much about it. I guess you get used to clouds and a rain shower during the week.

Well, we were finally done with the shopping and as usual, as Elena goes out with a helflood-3per to bring the groceries out to the lower level drive through to wait for me to get the car, I went to the first level to get our points for shopping and then to get the car. As I was walking through the second level parking structure, I noticed the pouring rain.


As I said, we are used to rain here, but rarely do we get that heavy downpour that makes seeing across the street difficult, but we did today. As I was coming down to the lower exit ramp, all I saw was cars. Nobody was moving and the gridlock was terrible. I knew Elena was going to text me to inquire why I was taking so long so I text her to let her know. About 10 minutes later she text me asking where I was, and I told her I was in the same place. Then it took about another 10 minutes to get around to the entrance to the lower lever where I pick her up outside the market area of the mall.


Again, exiting the parking was slow since cars were lined up everywhere and in true Filipino driving skills; many cars blocked other cars to force a standstill. We were trying to decide which way to get home and not get stuck in a flooded street. You see, here in Davao and I would assume in most places, streets and areas as developed are not graded to remove lower areas. They just build roads following the natural contours of the land. Because of this, there are many low spots that just fill up with water during a rainstorm. Well, I finally decided to exit in whatever way there was moving traffic. We took a back road and at a few intersections we hit some deep pockets of water, but nothing too bad. We finally got to Victoria Mall by a back street. As we turned to J.P. Laurel, a main thoroughfare, Elena mentioned the street how that road always floods after a rain and sure enough, as we got close we could see deep flooding. I U-turned and then we decided to turn into the mall parking so if need be, we would have exit options where to try next. As we drove along the front of the mall in the raised and level parking, J.P. Laurel was flooded, but by the further exit the street was higher and not flooded. I parked to take a few photos and saw the water over the curb and some guy pushing a stalled small jeepney. Well, the rest of our trip home was uneventful; the rain had practically stopped and no more flooded streets.

The city has been working on the flooding problem and I must say the streets are less flooded in the past, but during a real heavy rain, it is difficult to have the drainage perfect with all the rises and dips. I am glad we did not get stuck in a flooded condition we were in about 18 months ago, where a truck passed and I felt my car rise up as it floated.

6 Responses to “Flooding in Davao”

  1. Vanessa says:

    We are hoping by friday no more heavy rains in Manila on our arrival day and Davao. We don’t want to get stuck in Manila that’s for sure.

    • Bruce says:

      The Tropical Storm rains have practically stopped, there is rain forecasts all week for Manila. Friday they forecast only 40% chance. There is Tropical Storm 19 coming but not due to after you arrive. Have a safe trip and see you when you arrive. Where are you staying in Davao?

  2. Riza says:

    Well, in Kalentong, Mandaluyong it was like a celebration!

  3. Ken Bertel says:

    This looks like an old posting. I see a date of Sept 28 in the upper right corner. How do I see all of your postings?

  4. Ken Bertel says:

    Are you still in Davao? Oh yes, I see dates of 2009 I. The comments.

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