Heavy rain dampens Diwali spirit, shoppers inconvenienced

Last-minute Diwali shoppers had a harrowing time as incessant rains brought Chennai to a virtual standstill with clogged roads leading to traffic snarls and affecting free movement in the busy areas.

Chennai: Last-minute Diwali shoppers had a harrowing time as incessant rains brought Chennai to a virtual standstill with clogged roads leading to traffic snarls and affecting free movement in the busy areas.

The forecast is that the deep depression over Bay of Bengal will cross Cuddalore, about 180km from here, by late noon/afternoon with accompanying gusty winds.

The deep depression lay "110km east-southeast of Puducherry and 180km southeast of Chennai.

"The wind speed is expected to be between 55-65kmph, gusting up to 75kmph," an official at the Regional Meteorological Department told PTI.

According to statistics available till 8.30 AM today, Kvk Kattukuppam Arg (Kancheepuram district), Sirkali (Nagapattinam), Anaikaranchatram (kollid) (Nagapattinam) each received 20cm rain followed by Red Hills, Puazhal and Chembarambakkam (Tiruvallur) and Chidambaram Aws (Cuddalore) with 19cm.

The unabated rains here also inundated subways connecting suburban Chennai to the main parts of the city.

Monday morning office-goers, especially women, and senior citizens stirring out for Diwali shopping had a harrowing time as they were faced with knee-deep water in many areas. Several vehicles broke down on the flooded roads and people were seen giving these a push.

Meanwhile, firecrackers in some areas were reportedly being sold at discounted prices over the likely assumption that heavy rain would deter buyers.

With schools closed today, children would surely be praying for clear skies so that they may burst crackers ahead of Diwali.

Meanwhile, adding to the citizens' rain woes, branches of some trees that broke due to the lashing by gusty winds since last night fell on overhead electricity wires and caused power disruption in many areas.

The weather office said that Diwali day may be no different with heavy rainfall likely in some areas along with isolated extremely heavy rainfall over North Coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Tuesday.

The festival of lights is being celebrated in Tamil Nadu tomorrow.

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