Spectre of flooding and marooning haunts residents of low-level areas

Monsoon rains that revived on Thursday continued on Friday as well throwing life out of gear, in the process once again bringing to the fore the limitations of the road infrastructure in the city to withstand the onslaught of downpour.

Most of the schools had declared a holiday. But the fact that vans and other private vehicles transporting the students were off the road made little difference to other road users as the overnight rain and resultant water-logging had narrowed down the carriageway. It was a long wait on battered roads for many office-goers as the traffic moved at the proverbial snail's pace.

For residents of low-level areas, it was a day marked by anxiety on when their localities would be marooned. Their fears were not unfounded as Nungambakkam recorded 11 cm in the 36 hours ending 8.30 p.m. on Friday.

During the same period, Meenambakkam recorded nearly 13 cm of rainfall. For the 24 hours ending 8.30 a.m. on Friday, the rain gauges at Anna University and DGP office registered 10 cm and 9 cm respectively.

Traffic jams were reported during rush hour as vehicles struggled to navigate the flooded roads. Residents of several localities such as Perambur, Indira Nagar, Anna Nagar, Velachery and Kilpauk complained of inundation. Water had entered some houses in suburbs such as Ambattur, Mogappair, Nolambur, Vyasarpadi and Madipakkam.

S.Venkatesan, a resident of Mahalakshmi Nagar, West Velachery, said that many localities were under ankle deep water. Some streets were also affected with sewage blocks.

Rain had further aggravated the damage on roads such as in Nehru Nagar, Adyar, Ayanavaram and T.Nagar. Sources in Chennai Corporation said the 1913 helpline on Friday received 102 calls pertaining to flooding.

Of this, nearly 30 were from Velachery. Seven uprooted trees were removed from localities, including K.K.Nagar, Pattinapakkam, Nandanam and Royapettah.

Officials of the Meteorological Department said the well-marked low pressure area lying south of Comorin had contributed to the heavy rainfall. It may intensify into depression and move towards Arabian Sea.

On Friday, Nungambakkam recorded 4 cm of rainfall during the 12-hour period ending 8.30 p.m. the observatory at Meenambakkam registered 3 cm of rainfall.

More rainfall

The system would bring rainfall over Chennai for two more days.

The department has forecasts few spells of rain on Saturday, which may be heavy at times and the surface wind would be gusty.

Power supply disrupted

Residents of many areas said power supply remained erratic since Thursday night. Residents of Agaram Then, a southern suburb of the city, complained that power supply was not restored till the evening.

Flights delayed

Due to heavy rain around Thursday midnight, the arrival of seven flights to Chennai airport was delayed.

As the runway was water-logged, two flights from New Delhi and one each from Mumbai, Madurai, Bangalore, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur were unable to land.

They were airborne and landed well past midnight.

Similarly, the departure of a dozen flights from the city to different parts of the country was delayed by upto one hour on Friday morning.