Gloomy forecast today after wet weekend in city; waterlogging in some areas

After a nearly 25-day dry spell, heavy showers lashed Chennai and its neighbourhood on Friday night and Saturday.

Officials of the meteorological department said rain or thundershowers may occur in some areas on Sunday, too.

While this brings cheer to city residents, the forecast may cast a gloom on the Indo-Pak one-day international to be held at M.A. Chidambaram stadium in Chepauk on Sunday.

Overnight flooding

The showers on Friday and Saturday, which left several streets waterlogged and affected traffic, came as a respite to the rain-starved city that is facing rainfall deficit of nearly 30 per cent.

The overnight rains led to people wading through ankle-deep water in several areas, particularly in the suburbs. Strong winds kept fishermen away from the sea.

A trough extending from Sri Lanka to west-central Bay of Bengal resulted in rainfall in several coastal districts, including Chennai. On Saturday, Nungambakkam received 3.1 cm of rainfall and Meenambakkam recorded 4 cm for the 12 hours ending 8.30 p.m. However, showers will reduce after Sunday, an official said.

Intermittent showers throughout Saturday led to vehicle pile-up on many stretches. Slow-moving traffic near Koyambedu junction hit the holiday crowds heading to the mofussil bus terminus.

Slushy roads

Many streets in T. Nagar, Kolathur, Ambattur and Velachery were waterlogged following heavy showers. In Pondy Bazaar, residents had to negotiate shin-deep water. Several streets in T. Nagar turned slushy as roads have not been re-laid for nearly a year after stormwater drain work was completed.

Wednesday’s rains increased the city’s annual rainfall to 102 cm against the average of 140 cm. The overnight showers helped to maintain the water level in the city’s reservoirs, crucial for city water supply.

Sewage outflow

In Tambaram and Sembakkam, dozens of families woke up to a nauseating smell on Saturday. Sewage had overflown and entered their houses.

Residents alleged the sewage, flowing through a network of stormwater drains, was let out by some commercial establishments at Camp Road junction.

Residents of Annai Nagar in Tambaram municipality and those in Mehta Nagar, Ganesh Nagar, Mahalakshmi Nagar and Gandhi Nagar, among other localities in Sembakkam town panchayat, too, faced the problem.

Residents said sewage from stormwater drains, choked due to dumping of construction material at the intersection of Manimegalai Street and Sembakkam-Chitlapakkam Main Road, flowed in the opposite direction and entered their houses.

“It is common for rainwater run-off contaminated with sewage to flow through the drains and our streets before entering water bodies in Chitlapakkam and Sembakkam. This time, the sewage outflow was so huge that it entered our houses,” said G. Eswar, a resident of Ganesh Nagar.

Residents spent several hours clearing the mess in their houses. Workers of Sembakkam town panchayat sprayed disinfectant powder in the neighbourhood later in the day.

Tambaram municipality officials said, the commercial establishments that let out sewage had installed diaphragm chambers for collecting sludge and releasing treated grey water.

Some of these establishments were served show-cause notices for violating the norms. A detailed investigation will be launched soon, an official said.

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