CHENNAI: When they were slipping crisp white school uniforms on their kids before plunging into rush hour traffic to get them to school on time, plenty of parents were probably thankful that the sun wasn’t at it’s scorching best. But the respite was short as showers began lashing from 7.15 am - wetting roads and catching offguard parents with kids.
Running late, courtesy the impromptu traffic jams that ensued, most of them had to dive for cover when the drizzle developed into a hard and continuous burst of rainfall. “It has been like this for the last few days but it never rained,” grimaced R Nandagopal, as he took cover from the rain at a makeshift fish stall near Tirumangalam. “Just our luck that on the day we’re late there’s both rain and traffic,” he sighed, stealing a sidelong glance at his miffed son Shanmugam, whose uniform was spattered with a brown slushy stain, running horizontally.
Several other who stood beside him, children and lunch bags in tow, were of a similar bent of mind. “My wife asked me to take the raincoat when I left the house, but I told her that it was only a very light drizzle and we could manage,” said Narayanan S, clearly ruing his decision borne out of bravado. “I shouldn’t have laughed at the weather forecast on the news last night,” he quipped.
The rain intensified and continued to pour till 12.30 pm - but moved over different parts of the city, offering some respite after noon. The traffic snarls that ensued, sadly, took hours more to end. Anna Salai, GST Road, Poonamallee High Road and West Mambalam were amongst the worst hit as vehicles were impeded by waterlogging and slow moving traffic. “There were over
300 extra traffic policemen who were pressed into action to sort out traffic issues in these places. It was only because of the rain,” said an official with the Chennai Traffic Police.
This rainy spell of weather, expected to continue till December 12, will continue with lesser intensity till the third week, said Dr S B Thampi, Deputy Director General of Meteorology, RMC. “These rains are the effect of north eastern current picking up speed and moving inward. The rains will continue at this rate till Friday and then gradually decrease in intensity. Today alone, Nungambakkam has recorded 11.2 mm of rainfall,” he said.
It may not be a bad idea to take an umbrella when you step out these days.