Subways, main thoroughfares inundated; stormwater drains overflow

The city experienced a sudden downpour on Saturday afternoon leaving hundreds , including office-goers, stranded at bus stops and railway platforms. Several roads and subways were inundated and traffic was thrown out of gear.

Meteorology Department officials said the observatory in Nungambakkam recorded 30 mm of rain during the 12 hours ending 8.30 p.m. on Saturday. The Meenambakkam observatory registered 38.7 mm during the same period.

Deputy Director-General of Meteorology Department Y.E.A. Raj said it was not unusual to have thundershowers in the evenings during southwest monsoon.

“This year, we have had more rain compared to previous years. The rainfall occurs two to three hours after sea breeze sets in as it brings more moisture to the coast,” he said.

On Saturday, the maximum temperature in Nungambakkam was 38 degree Celsius, two degrees above normal. Weather officials said the heat during the daytime helped the development of thunder cloud activity.

P. Shailaja, working in a software firm, who was stranded at the Chepauk Railway Station, said “I was travelling in the train and it started raining suddenly. Within no time I was drenched as the rainwater splashed inside. I was planning to go shopping. But now I am waiting for the rain to stop so that I can go home.”

A retired school teacher K. Thiyagarajan, who was on his regular evening walk when it started raining, waited for half an hour at Chintadripet Railway Station for the rain to abate. “The change in the weather was visible an hour before it started raining. It is a respite from heat but it is unpleasant as I was caught unawares,” he said.

Traffic slowed down considerably as water stagnated on several roads, including Gandhi Irwin Road and in Kilpauk. Water logging on the streets was reported by residents of several areas in West Mambalam, Perambur, Kolathur and Villivakkam.

The Gengu Reddy subway, Ganesapuram subway and Doraiswamy subway were inundated resulting in traffic snarls.

Several residents of West Mambalam waded through knee-deep water in Doraiswamy subway to reach home. Stretches between Raghavendra Mandapam up to Five Lights area and from Arya Gowda Road near Jubilee Road junction up to Jaishankar Street were flooded.

The shower and the water logging also saw residents of several areas reiterating their demand for better amenities. Residents of Perambur wanted the Otteri Nullah canal to be de-silted and proper stormwater drains provided. Residents in State Bank Officers' Colony and MLA Nagar complained of sewage overflow.

Jamalia resident R. Umapathy said the stormwater drains in Perambur High Road had not been de-silted.

“We do not even have bus shelters and the unauthorised timber merchants have occupied the footpath on both sides forcing us to walk on the water-logged road,” he said.

The stretch from Valluvar Kottam Road to Sterling Road junction was flooded for sometime following the rain. K. Balasubramanian said that rainwater stagnated along the stretch from Independence Day Park to Avenue Road.

Chennai Corporation's personnel said they received five complaints regarding non-functioning of stormwater drains on the 1913 helpline of the civic body.

The Meteorological Department forecasts showers or thundershowers in some areas on Sunday. Maximum temperature will be around 37 degree Celsius.

(With inputs from K. Lakshmi, Vasudha Venugopal and R. Sujatha)

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