The residents of Irepodun Street in Dopemu area of Lagos wailed loudly as flood from Saturday’s early morning downpour took over their homes.
Their cries attracted sympathisers in the neighbourhood to throng the place to rescue the victims.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the cries of “help to save our children’’ rent the air at about 5. a.m. as the rain fell.
A Correspondent of NAN who visited the scene reports that people rushed to the scene at No. 4 Irepodun Street where flood was nearly covering the residents as a result of a collapsed fence.
NAN observed that fresh excavations on the drainages on the highway as result of the ongoing drainage reconstruction project on Lagos-Abeokuta expressway forced the flood onto the fence which caved in.
Sympathisers waded through the flood to save children who were being carried on the heads of victims and taking them to safety in a waiting van.
Mr Olaiya Oyewole-Musilu, a resident of No. 4 Irepodun Street, told NAN that he had never experienced flood of that magnitude.
According to him, the caused is the ongoing construction which blocked the original water channel, thereby diverting flood to a fence behind their house.
“We were sleeping when the fence fell and the water tide was so high that we had to run to save our lives,’’ he told NAN.
Another resident, Mr Thomas Ofred, a staff of Nathaniel Florence Construction Company, lamented the loss to his firm.
“I have the company’s money in there. I brought it home because I closed late yesterday. The water came suddenly, I could not think, we had to run out.
“The flood has risen almost to roof level, how do I explain to my firm, all my property is gone, how do I save my job,’’ he lamented.
Mrs Mary Adewale, one of the victims shaken by the incidence, narrating her ordeal told NAN that the flood busted on them without warning.
“We were sleeping as it was raining and suddenly, it just happened like an explosion, we just heard boom! And water was gushing in from our windows and from all directions.
“I was confused, I didn’t take anything, I was afraid for my children but I thank God we brought all of them out,’’ she said.
Other residents of the street came out to salvage their items and shop owners frantically removed wares from the floor and lower shelves to higher ones.
However, shop owners on Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway were not as lucky as their shops were submerged.
A grains and other food items dealer simply referred to as Iya Ayo, wailed on the highway going back and forth into her shop but was surrounded by dozens of sympathisers.
Recounting her ordeal to no one in particular, she exclaimed: “All the bags of beans, bags of yam flour, bags of rice, bags of cassava four, maize, millet, ahh!
“The loan I took! I just stocked this shop yesterday with new goods, where do I start from? I am doomed! This is bad luck. What kind of drainage construction is this, my God pity me’’.
Mr Bennerd James, a resident of 97 Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, told NAN that the flooding was compounded by fresh excavations that was done between the UBA Bank and Forte Filling Station on Friday.
James, who frantically tried to reduce the impact of the flooding by using buckets to bale water out of the compound, appealed to the state government to speed up the construction.
Mrs Akinlolu Ayandokun, a resident of Olalabi Street whose house was also affected, also appealed to the state government to always target drainage projects for the dry season.
“They ought not to be constructing drainage now that is rainy season,’’ she said.
Other residents of adjoining streets who were affected also begged the government to speed up the project because of the numerous schools in the area.
NAN reports that the drainage project is part of construction of the ongoing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project being undertaken by the government.