Tuesday’s overnight thundershowers threw the city out of gear.
The heavy rains left several low-lying areas such as Kalaignar Nagar of Tiruvottiyur inundated and threw traffic out of gear on arterial roads, including in north Chennai, which experienced less rainfall compared to other parts of the city.
A. Moideen, a resident said: “Usually, our area gets flooded during October or November. But, this was unexpected. We don’t have a proper stormwater drain network. We had to wade through knee-deep rain water mixed with sewage. It will take at least three weeks for the water to recede,” he said.
Ramshankar of Swaran, a citizen’s group for water conservation, said many areas in and around Adyar, including Shastri Nagar, were flooded despite having stormwater drains.
Trees were uprooted in several places, including on Rukmani Lakshmipathy Road in Egmore. As it took a while for a huge tree to be removed, motorists were forced to take a slight detour.
Meteorologists say several weather stations in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur, including Poonamallee, Kelambakkam and Kattupakkam, recorded heavy to very heavy rainfall. However, the city did not get any rainfall during the daytime on Wednesday.
In the southern suburbs, Tambaram registered 10 cm of rainfall till 8.30 a.m. on Wednesday. Perungalathur, Madipakkam and Peerkankaranai were the worst-affected areas with water from the Periya Eri flooding Sakthi Nagar and Kannan Avenue. Snakes that were swept along in the surplus water gushing from the eri were a cause for anxiety among residents of Kannan Avenue.
“The schools declared a holiday. Otherwise, children would have suffered immensely. We have never experienced such heavy rainfall during this time of the year,” said U. Subash, a resident of Kannan Avenue.
A Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Chennai which had to arrive in the city at 11.50 p.m. on Tuesday was diverted to Bangalore due to the rains. It subsequently reached Chennai around 3.30 a.m. on Wednesday.