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Chennai on high alert as heavy rains lead to floods; waist-deep waters in places

Incessant rains have led to flooding in Tamil Nadu’s capital as the downpour reached 21 cms. The rains that started at night continued till Monday morning and left several roads clogged with the gushing waters.  

Many low-lying areas too were flooded as a result of the heavy rains, which were forecasted by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) this morning.  

Residents shared their ordeals as several complexes had their cellars filled with rainwater. Sangeetha Rajeesh, a resident of South Chennai’s Puzhithivakkam, said that her apartment’s parking area had 3 feet of water as 3 construction sites near her house had blocked the stormwater rains, leaving no space but homes for the water to enter.  

The situation in KK Nagar is no different. The unfinished sewage and metro waterworks added fuel to the fire as knee-deep waters were witnessed due to the stagnation at all intersections, a local of the area, Dr Raghavan said.  

Anna Nagar had the same story to tell with even waist-level waters in some areas. 19th street resident, Maria Banu, said that the blocked drainage is also causing massive trouble with no electricity too in several homes and constant pouring. She expressed her worries for the delivery professionals who still work in such times.  

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MK Stalin, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, is slated to visit 14 waterlogged areas in Chennai. His constituency, Kolathur, also saw water entering many homes. Following discussions with the collectors on Sunday, he will be going to Jawahar Nagar, Padi bridge, Egmore and other areas to ascertain the gravity of the situation. He had directed officials to “monitor water levels in lakes and dams and to ensure no inconvenience to public”. 

“Was lucky enough to get a neighbor’s big vehicle to shift my sick uncle who was in sickbed surrounded by water inside the house,” a resident, Edward Thompson, said. 

In the afternoon, water had started getting released from the Chembarambakkam and Poondi lake reservoir as all lakes in and around Chennai have already saturated their levels. Chembarambakkam itself has reached 82.35 feet water with a mere 3.05 feet left to fill its capacity.  

Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu districts are on alert, with locals on the banks of River Adyar also warned of floods.  

Comparing the situation with 2015’s Chennai floods, a senior officer said, “We will not have flooding during this regular discharge. If there is excessive rain, leading to excessive discharge, then we anticipate flooding in areas around Muduchur like 2015.” 

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Sudden excessive discharge from the Chembarambakkam lake 6 years back had led to water gushing into nearly 4 lakh houses.  

Four teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed to assist in the rescue operations of people trapped and missing due to the floods.