Many in Chennai seem to have a premonition about the Oct 26-27 rains. A few months ago, writer Sujatha wrote about Mumbai rains and guessed that it might be the same with NE monsoon for Chennai this year. The local government seems to be slightly more prepared than their usual mode. So, heavy rains were expected and it did rain. Thank you Nature!
On the preparedness of Chennai Corp, it seems they have improved. Some three years ago, on a nearly similar situation, people were stranded for hours together at Anna Salai. It took me 2.5 hours by bus to reach Adyar from Vadapalani. I was lucky that day.
This time, police and Corp officials were seen on many roads. Water clogged roads were promptly closed and diverted. South Chennai has been fairly well managed. On North Chennai... it is altogether a different story. I had been to that part of the city for just 3-4 times, didn't stay long enough on those occasions to like the place. That's for another blog.
Coming back to the rains, the met office seems to have called it right. Luckily for the Chennaiites, the rains intensified overnight and didn't have them stranded during peak hours. Mr. Ramanan of the India meteorological office has a luck with his words. Every time he would come on TV and announce that there will be "more" rains, it would stop raining. Please note the "more" - the Met office never managed to or the TV news people never met the Met guys to predict rains. Mr. Ramanan and his team should thank the depression that stayed put near Chennai for almost a day.
As much as water clogging, fallen trees contributed to traffic problems. I see mostly Gulmohar and its family of trees (or what we call as தூங்குமூஞ்சி மரம்) are the ones that were uprooted most. They grow fast and probably don't have very deep roots.