As the monsoon’s first heavy and prolonged rains lashed the city on Tuesday, life came to a standstill for a few hours in various parts at different points of time due to water stagnation. Towards early evening, waterlogging at important stretches gave way to traffic snarls.
Ahead of the Cyclone Nivar crossing the Tamil Nadu coast, several parts of the city received significant rainfall overnight with some reporting waterlogging in the morning itself. On Tuesday morning, Mambalam and Alandur had received 82 mm and 70 mm rainfall respectively.
Throughout the day, the rains continued to lash the city. The spell was severe in the heart of the city during the afternoon. Several subways, including the Nungambakkam subway on Nelson Manickam Road near Loyola College, were completely inundated. Vehicles had to take alternative routes. The RBI subway too had water stagnation after a spell of heavy rains.
Residents of R.K. Shanmugam Salai at K.K. Nagar said that despite rains lessening for a while in the evening, the water level did not recede on the roads.
Several smaller streets were temporarily inundated after the sharp, heavy spells.
Footpaths that are under construction in parts of Raja Street in T. Nagar were submerged after half-an-hour of rain. At many places along the street, slabs for footpath work were piled up. Water slowly drained out when the rains ceased for thirty minutes.
Santhome was flooded and the traffic police diverted smaller vehicles through the Marina loop road and Marina service road briefly. Flow of water at Vepery junction near Police Commissioner’s office and adjoining areas on Poonamallee High Road was slow and temporarily affected traffic movement. “Water from Purasawalkam and Vepery gather at that point since the culvert beneath the railway tracks is very small. The water has to cross Poonamallee High Road, then enter the culvert beneath the tracks and reach Buckingham Canal. At that point alone we have four pumps and a tanker removing water. But the volume is so huge that these machines are unable to pump out as quickly as needed,” said an official in the Highways department. A total of 55 pumps have been deployed across arterial roads in the city by the department.
Liquefied Petroleum Gas cylinder delivery did not happen in many places. A distributor in West Chennai said that of 550 cylinders sent out on Tuesday, 220 were returned to the godown since delivery personnel could not access the houses of customers.
Traffic snarls were witnessed on arterial roads in the evening as motorists struggled to cross the stretches with the rain water flooding the roads. There were traffic hold ups on Anna Salai, GST Road, Kamarajar Road and EVR Road owing to the temporary flooding at some stretches.
“From the morning, intermittent traffic snarls were reported from parts of the city as heavy rain caused flooding on the road. The width of these roads too had shrunk due to water stagnation and motorists had to navigate these stretches cautiously,” a senior police officer said.
As several offices in the north of the city were closed at around 3.30 p.m, traffic congestion was reported from Broadway till Teynampet in the evening.
N. Kannan, Additional Commissioner of Police, Traffic, and his team made spot assessments and expedited relief works at Guindy and a few other areas. There was similar traffic congestion on GST road from the Kathipara grade separator and police officers said that traffic movement became smooth after 6.30 p.m.
Roads were, however, deserted along the East Coast Road and Rajiv Gandhi Salai as the State-run buses were not operated and motorists avoided the road.