Srinagar: Irfan Bhat, a resident of Rajbagh area of the city, has had sleepless nights since the heavy rainfall began in Kashmir on the weekend, fearing a repeat of the September floods that devastated wide parts of the Valley including his posh locality.
"The nightmares of September deluge are still fresh in my mind when water flowed into Rajbagh locality and rose to nearly 18 feet within no time," Bhat, who was trapped along with his family in his house for nearly 18 hours in last year's floods, told a news agency.
Bhat and his elder brother Aashiq made frantic calls to relatives and friends, seeking help when floods engulfed the city on September 6 last year.
"As the water was rising, we climbed first to the second storey and then the third. There was nowhere to go beyond but luckily the water did not rise any further," Bhat said.
He said it was late in the afternoon that day when his relatives finally came in with a boat and rescued his family which included six children and four adults.
A businessman by profession, Bhat brothers were one of the worst hit by the floods last year. Besides their house and sweets manufacturing unit, their two shops at Residency Road and Karan Nagar were also inundated in the deluge last year.
"Last year I did not pay heed to advice of friends to leave Rajbagh as I never imagined that the city will be flooded. But this time I left the place even before waterlogging due to rainfall started. Last year was a nightmare that should not befall anyone," he added.
Bhat said he was not able to sleep for two night when heavy rains pounded the valley and the water level rose suddenly in River Jhelum.
"Although I shifted to a safer place well in time, I could not get any sleep.... Floods came during night last time," he said.
As the water level in Jhelum has started receding since last evening, the residents of Rajbagh are hoping and praying that the wet weather forecast for next couple of days would spare them any further troubles.However, residents of Hamdania Colony in Bemina -- who had started picking up threads of their lives after last year's floods --were not so lucky.
The embankment of a water canal gave in, leading to flash floods in the area.
"We were still in process of repairing the damages caused by last year's floods and fresh one struck us again. The damage is colossal to us ... Now we are only worried about our lives," said Ghulam Hassan, a local resident, as he watched gushing water flow past his single storey house.
The heavy rainfall caused so much panic that businessmen, who suffered huge losses last year, shifted their merchandise out of their shops as soon as it started raining on Saturday.
"I lost everything last year ... I have somehow restarted my business but I am not in a position to take another hit. I moved the goods from my shop at Lal Chowk to my residence," Mohammad Yasin Dar, who deals in readymade garments, said.
Most of the shops in commercial hub of Lal Chowk and adjoining areas are empty these days in view of the precautionary steps taken by the owners.