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Restored Seoul Stream Curbed Flooding

Posted July. 25, 2006 03:53,   


The “habitually flooding stream” has transformed into a “flood-preventing stream.” It turns out that the restored stream “Cheonggyecheon” acted as a shield against the heavy rain. While there was a total of 615.5 mm of downpour on Seoul between July 12-18, most of the Cheonggyecheon area was not inundated, Seoul Metropolitan Facilities Management Corporation announced on July 24.

Previously, the Cheonggyecheon area had been a habitually flooding area with houses submerged in water whenever there was heavy rain. Between August 20-24, 2003, when a downpour of 395 mm occurred, 107 houses and streets on Jongno 1-6, Sejongno crossroad, Doryeom-dong, and Shinmunno, were flooded. Also on July 14 and 15, 2001, with heavy rain of 363 mm, 1,076 houses were flooded in Gwansu-dong, Yeji-dong and Sungin-dong 2 of Jongno-gu. But this year, despite the heavy rainfall reaching almost twice the level of that in 2001 and 2003, most of the area was protected from flooding.

This is because Cheonggyecheon, which was restored last year, acted as a safeguard, sending the rain and river water downstream from the center of the city. This year, only the 5.83 km walking area from Jongno-gu Sejongno Donga Media Center to Jung-gu Cheonggye 9 street Shindab Railroad Bridge were affected by the heavy rain, where roads and bushes were partly damaged. This is because, at the time Cheongyecheon was restored, it was ensured that the standard amount of river water that can be managed was raised to a “200-year frequency (amount of heavy rainfall that would come about every 200 years, 118 mm per hour),” and the drainage around the Cheonggyecheon area was improved.

As the Facilities Management Corporation, which is in charge of managing Cheonggycheon, placed security managers at 31 entrances to walkways, there were no human casualties. The Cheonggyecheon walkway is designed to be submerged in water when there is a downpour of 5 mm per 10 minutes. This is because when it rains, the rain from Mt. Nam, Mt. Inwang, Mt. Bukak and the center of the city all flow into Cheonggyecheon.

Tae-Hun Hwang beetlez@donga.com