Friday’s thunderstorm threw traffic out of gear in several areas in the city, already affected by heavy rains over the past couple of days.
Many arterial roads were inundated an hour after it began raining in the afternoon. Motorists were forced to slow down to a crawl on several roads where water had stagnated.
The rains that lasted over three hours were a result of the combined effects of a trough of low pressure that extended from the west central Bay of Bengal to the southwest of the Bay, off coastal north Tamil Nadu, and an upper-air circulation off coastal Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring areas.
The meteorological department said much of the rainfall was recorded after 1 p.m.
Traffic on Poonamallee High Road, from Aminjikarai to Periamet, came to a standstill as a portion of the stretch was waterlogged. B. Aparna, a resident of Kilpauk, said: “It took me more than 40 minutes to cross the four-km stretch between Kilpauk and Egmore. It was raining and I had to go slow as potholes were filled with water.”
The situation was no different on Inner Ring Road, Sterling Road and GST Road, with traffic moving at a snail’s pace during non-peak hours too. Vehicular subways in Egmore, Basin Bridge and Villivakkam were covered with sheets of water. Pothole-ridden and waterlogged subways gave motorists a tough time on Friday.
Parts of Sathyamurthy Nagar in Vyasarpadi, Basin Bridge, Sydenhams Road in Periamet, Choolai, Vepery High Road and EVK Sampath Road were partially waterlogged.
Many residents had no choice but to brave the rains to earn a livelihood. Maragadam, a vegetable vendor from Aminjikarai market, squatted by the footpath on Poonamallee High Road, holding an umbrella.
“Sales have been dull for the past few days because of the rains. I cannot wind up and go home until the last vegetable is sold. I wait for customers until dark,” she said.
Lightning strike kills farmer
A 45-year-old farmer of Valluvapakkam near Padalam died after he was struck by lightning on Friday evening. Murugan was walking in his fields, adjacent to Kannapiran lake, when the incident happened.
Farm workers who saw him swoon rushed to his aid and took him to Chengalpattu Medical College Hospital. He was declared brought dead.