Battered roads, traffic jams and chaos – the story on day one

Relentless rain on Friday marked the arrival of the northeast monsoon in the city. The consequent traffic snarls and water-logging served as a frightful prelude to the next couple of weeks.

The trough in the easterlies that remained over the Bay of Bengal had caused the rainfall over the coastal districts, including Chennai. Incessant rainfall on Friday had many people remaining indoors in fear of negotiating inching traffic on inundated roads. On Friday, Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam registered 6.6 cm and 5 cm respectively during the 12 hours ending 8.30 p.m.

Vehicles piled up on several localities in the evening, leaving motorists waiting on the roads for hours together. Stretches around Koyambedu junction of Jawaharlal Nehru Salai, Central station and Kilpauk Medical College Hospital on Poonamallee High Road were inundated, clogging localities nearby.

Meteorological Department officials said that this year, the monsoon arrived a tad earlier than the usual date — October 20. Last year, the onset was declared on October 25. In 2009 and 2010, the monsoon set in on October 29.

The rain for the past three days over Tamil Nadu has exceeded the average rainfall for the period by 10 per cent. The State has so far received 11 cm of rain against the average of 10 cm experienced during this time. Marakkanam registered 12 cm, which is the highest received in the weather stations across the State during the 24 hours ending 8.30 a.m. on Friday.

Y.E.A. Raj, Deputy Director General of Meteorology, Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai, said that normally Tamil Nadu receives 43 cm of rainfall during the northeast monsoon that lasts till mid-December. Though it has been a good start for the season, some districts such as Tiruvallur, Karur and Salem are yet to get sufficient rainfall.

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