Hundreds of Chennai residents living in Madipakkam, Velachery, Pallikaranai and surrounding areas had a sleepless night on Wednesday, fearing floods.
In several streets of Ram Nagar, Kuberan Nagar Extension, Ram Nagar Extension, Balaji Nagar, Madipakkam and Velachery, rainwater entered the houses on Wednesday morning.
P. Sankar of 12th Street in Kuberan Nagar Extension said: “During the 2015 floods, rainwater entered our house and was up to our shoulders. This time, my parents and other family members were awake on Wednesday night and shifted all electrical and electronic items and utensils to a room on the terrace. We also moved to that room. On Thursday, there was knee-deep water in our house.”
His neighbour Shanmugam said: “My wife and I did not sleep the whole night and were keeping vigil as the rainwater started entering our house. We were clearing water using utensils and went to sleep in the morning. In 2015, our house was submerged.”
Shankari, a resident of Madipakkam said: “Snakes and other reptiles entered the house. We panicked the whole night and heaved a sigh of relief only in the morning when the rain stopped. Compared to past, the flooding has not been much this time.”
On Thursday morning, several residents were moving around the water-logged streets with their children. They said no effort had been made to drain the water. They were waiting for water to recede to return to their homes.
In areas where there was no water stagnation or inundation, residents thanked the Greater Chennai Corporation for the work carried out in preparation for the monsoons. “Ahead of the monsoons, the stormwater drains here had been desilted. Despite the heavy rains, there was no water stagnation on the roads on Thursday,” said V. Rajagopal, president, Anna Nagar Western Extension (phase II) Residents Welfare Association.
Leelananda Neeli, a resident of Semmanchery, said that water level in his area stood at around 3 or 4 feet on Thursday morning. “We have sandbagged the entrances and are hoping that the water will recede. A drain was constructed last year by the Corporation last year but that does not seem to be enough. Every year during the monsoon we get water-logged and are forced to remain inside our homes,” he said. In the core city, roads like P.S. Sivaswamy Salai and streets nearby which had significant water stagnation remained clear after the rains, a motorist navigating the stretch there said. A resident from West Mambalam said that there was hardly any water stagnation in the area.
Traffic flow was disrupted on the Tiruvallur-Uthukottai Road due to flow of flood waters from the Arani that washed away portions of a diversion road in Tiruvallur district. The diversion road was laid to allow traffic at a point where a high-level bridge is under construction.
Similarly at Kundrathur, where construction of a bridge is on over a surplus channel from the Chembarambakkam tank, the water flowing over the diversion road cut off traffic