It started with a mild rustle on an otherwise bright afternoon, and within minutes, the clouds closed in, the sky turned grey as ash and sturdy winds carried the branches off the trees. A sultry day turned into a rainy one on Wednesday as several parts of the city experienced heavy showers for over half an hour starting 3.30 p.m.

Heavy westerly winds that brought the dark clouds out also raised dust from the roads. The rain, accompanied by lightning, thunder and heavy winds, knocked off trees in various areas including Brick Kiln Road, Chintadripet, Purasawalkam, Harrington Road, New Avadi Road, West Cooum Road and Thana Street and blocked traffic for sometime.

But, not everyone could indulge in the caprice of the clouds. Branches of trees fell and slowed vehicles that had to use headlights as early as 3.30 p.m. At Anna Nagar, cars shook, and the wind swept the police’s plastic barricades and corrugated iron sheets placed to cordon the Anna Arch.

Just a brief spell of rain, it seems, is sufficient to steer a flood of woes for residents of city, especially those who had to travel from work to home on Wednesday evening. College students who were caught unawares ran to bus shelters and remained crammed inside the shelters for nearly an hour. After the heavy rain stopped, it continued to drizzle for half an hour. Revathy M., a resident of Taramani, who was visiting an acquaintance at Royapettah General Hospital, did not dread waiting for the bus, as much as she dreaded entering her street. “Even 30 minutes of rain is enough to flood the street, and the water stagnates at least for two days. Unscheduled power cuts are also a given when it rains,” she said. Muniamma Kuppuswamy, who works as a maid in Kotturpuram said that water has been stagnating water outside her house for a few days and mosquitoes breed. “Children often fall sick because of this and fogging which is carried out intermittently hardly helps,” she lamented.

Weather officials, however, said that the thunderstorm activity occurred as predicted on Tuesday.

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