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October 29, 2011

Bangkok, Thailand

6 p.m. Local Time

We drove October 29 on Chaengwatthana Road heading toward Don Mueang Airport in Nonthaburi Province north of Bangkok. As you may have heard, flight operations at the airport were cancelled until at least November 2 because of flooding, and the airport has become a giant shelter for thousands of flood victims. While we saw some flooding on Chaengwatthana, I’m cautiously optimistic that the situation there will soon be under control. I had heard that these areas were flooded, and the media painted a bleak picture of the flooding. We saw water on the street and some houses partially submerged, but other areas were dry, and the roads were generally passable. That doesn’t mean that we’re through this yet, but at least the situation appears stabilized. For now.

Of course, things could change quickly. Right now, 6 p.m. on October 29, is supposed to be the high water mark when the Gulf of Thailand pushes water up the Chao Phraya River. That could cause more flooding upstream. Also, it poured rain last night, which only made the situation worse. Some Bangkok residents, who are fed up with officials’ efforts to protect some areas while allowing others to flood, have taken matters into their own hands by destroying dykes and barriers. The Bangkok Post reported that residents destroyed a dyke on the Khlong Prapa (Waterworks Canal) in Pathum Thani. The canal, which feeds Bangkok’s water system, could overflow again. As of 3:30 p.m. today, the canal looked high but not overflowing.

Tomorrow I plan to look around central Bangkok and will take updated photos of the flooding in the center.

Here are photos we took in the Don Mueang area in Nonthaburi Province. These are the dry sections of Chaengwatthana Road.

2011_10_29 Don Mueang

2011_10_29 Don Mueang (2)

2011_10_29 Don Mueang (10)

As we headed west toward the airport, the flooding started to creep onto the roadway.

2011_10_29 Don Mueang (3)

2011_10_29 Don Mueang (4)

2011_10_29 Don Mueang (5)

2011_10_29 Don Mueang (6)

2011_10_29 Don Mueang (7)

2011_10_29 Don Mueang (8)

2011_10_29 Don Mueang (9)

2011_10_29 Don Mueang (11)

 

Books by MG EdwardsMG Edwards is a writer of books and stories in the thriller and science fiction-fantasy genres. He also writes travel adventures and children’s books. A former U.S. diplomat, he served in South Korea, Paraguay, and Zambia before leaving the Foreign Service to write full time.

Edwards is author of six books. His memoir, Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill, was finalist for the Book of the Year Award and the Global eBook Award. He has published four children’s picture books in the World Adventurers for Kids Series: Alexander the Salamander; Ellie the Elephant; Zoe the Zebra; and a collection featuring all three stories. His book Real Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Stories is an anthology of 15 short stories.

Edwards lives in Taipei, Taiwan with his wife Jing and son Alex. He has also lived in Austria, Singapore and Thailand. For more books or stories by M.G. Edwards, visit his web site at www.mgedwards.com or contact him by e-mail at me@mgedwards.com or on Twitter @m_g_edwards.

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2 Comments

  1. April's Gravatar April
    October 29, 2011    

    thank you so much for this information. me and my mum are lying in late on the 5th of november at the international airport and will be going to the bankok 9 hospital. i hope we dont get stuck 🙁 i hope everyone is coping !!!

  2. edworlds's Gravatar edworlds
    October 29, 2011    

    Hi April, thanks for your nice comment and for subscribing to my blog! We’ve evacuated from our home but are otherwise okay. I’ve been told that the floodwaters will peak this weekend and the start receding. I would check with Bangkok 9 Hospital for an update on the flooding in their area. As far as I know, all the major hospitals are still up and running, although they may have more patients being treated for injuries related to the floods. The main airport, Suvarnabhumi, is operating normally; the domestic one, Don Mueang, is not. Best wishes to you and your mom when you travel here!

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