Heavy rains pound Tamil Nadu, flood highways

Heavy rains pound Tamil Nadu; Grand Southern Trunk highway flooded

In several areas, food and essential items were delivered through boats, even as rains continued till Sunday evening

A car stuck on a waterlogged street following heavy rain in Chennai. Credit: PTI File Photo

Torrential rains under the influence of the North-east Monsoon (NEM) at its ferocious best continued to wreak havoc in Tamil Nadu on Sunday with several localities in Chennai, and its neighbouring districts of Chengalpattu and Tiruvallur coming under water and confining people inside their waterlogged homes.

Parts of Chennai-Kanyakumari National Highway, the road that connects the state capital with Central and Southern parts of Tamil Nadu, was flooded with vehicles wading through knee-deep water due to release of excess water from nearby water bodies that reached their full capacities.

Another stretch of the highway near Manapparai in Tiruchirappalli was also flooded, leading to heavy traffic snarls. Several other state highways in Tamil Nadu were either fully closed or partially closed for traffic – the water was knee-deep and even above that on many state highways.

The NEM, which began late this year, increased its intensity in the first week of November with the state receiving 75 per cent excess rainfall achieved during the season. As the MeT department forecast heavy rains for the next few days, administrations in at least 10 districts, including Chennai, announced a holiday on Monday for schools and colleges.

Chennai, Chengalpattu, Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram, Cuddalore, and Delta districts received heavy rainfall during the day and the clouds shifted to southern Tamil Nadu by Sunday evening. Interior districts like Ranipet, Vellore, and Tiruvannamalai also received heavy rains, but the intensity was quite high in Chennai and its neighbouring districts. 

Several localities on the Grand Southern Trunk Road (Chennai-Kanyakumari NH), and Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) also known as the IT Corridor, in Chengalpattu district were flooded with people finding it difficult to access food and health care. In several areas, food and essential items were delivered through boats, even as rains continued till Sunday evening.

The intensity of flooding in Chengalpattu district was heavy as it is home to hundreds of lakes and ponds, all of which were overflowing. Videos shared on social media painted a grim picture with vehicles almost submerged in rainwater whose level increased every hour due to continuous rains.

Almost all reservoirs that supply drinking water to Chennai were brimming with water and the quantity of excess water being released is increasing as per the inflow.

The situation was no better in Chennai, where Chief Minister M K Stalin led from the front by overseeing the relief measures in the suburbs. Several localities in the city like west Mambalam, Alwarpet, Ashok Nagar, K K Nagar, and Tambaram were inundated causing severe inconvenience to people.

Coastal districts like Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, and Ramanathapuram continued to bear the brunt with heavy rains continuing for the third consecutive day.

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