Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam stations recorded 82.5 mm and 103 mm of rainfall respectively at 8.30 pm on Tuesday. Chennai looks set for one of the highest rainfall years in January in over a hundred years. The all-time record for highest rainfall in the city over 24 hours was set on January 15, 1915, with the city seeing 212.9 mm of rainfall that day. As per official data released on Tuesday afternoon, Chennai saw an average of 114.6 mm of rainfall. The monthly average for rainfall in January is 17 mm. “On January 5, we got over seven times the average monthly rainfall in less than 15 hours,” said weather blogger Pradeep John.
“On January 6, thunderstorm with moderate rain is likely to occur at many places over coastal TN, Chennai, Puducherry and Karaikal. Thunderstorms with light to moderate rain are likely to occur at many places over interior Tamil Nadu as well. Heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places over The Nilgiris, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Mayiladuthurai, and Villupuram districts of Tamil Nadu,” said S Balachandran, director, Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai. Heavy rainfall in the city was due to intensive convective clouds present over Chennai, Tiruvallur, Chengalpattu and Kancheepuram districts. The rains are expected to push towards south of Andhra Pradesh, and thus showers in the city will gradually decrease over the next 24 hours, said weather blogger K Srikanth.
12-hr Downpour floods roads, subways across city
As heavy rain continues to lash over the city on Tuesday, low-lying areas have been flooded, causing hardships to residents. Surplus water from three reservoirs – Chembarambakkam, Red Hills and Poondi – was released in the wake of increase inflow to the catchment areas.
The incessant rains, which returned to the city after a break of several weeks, led to waterlogging on many roads. Motorists and office-goers faced a tough time reaching their destination. The overnight downpour, which lasted for more than 12 hours till Tuesday 3 pm, led to inundation in many areas like Velachery, Madipakkam, Perungudi, Saidapet, Guindy, KK Nagar, Adambakkam, Anna Nagar, Kodungaiyur, Vyasarpadi, Perambur, Purasaiwalkam, Kellys, Egmore, Koyambedu and suburbs surrounding Tambaram.
Water entered houses in a few low lying areas like Saidapet, KK Nagar, Velachery and suburban Chitlapakkam. M Arun, a shopkeeper on Saidapet Bazaar Road, said the residents have been facing water stagnation every year with no solution provided by the Corporation. “Several shops along the road were closed after water entered them. The public is finding it difficult to wade through the knee-deep water,” he said.
The Greater Chennai Corporation deployed personnel to clear flooded subways and key intersections. “We have deployed motor pumps to pump out water from subways and water-logged roads. We also used water tankers,” a corporation official said.
Amid the intense showers, vehicles moved at a snail’s pace, while two-wheeler riders and auto-rickshaw and car drivers found it very difficult to negotiate roads. Taramani recorded the highest of 11.8 cm rainfall, while Ennore Port received the lowest of 3.7 cm.
Soundararajan, a taxi driver, said, “We moved slowly with extra caution as all roads were flooded. It was tough to reach Central through water-logged Walltax Road.” Many bikers were stranded on roads as their vehicles broke down. In some areas, police personnel assisted motorists.
K Govindan, a resident of RK Shanmugham Salai in KK Nagar, said, “The corporation should come out with a plan to address water stagnation on main roads.”