Chennai shuts down for Cyclone Vardah's visit
Vardah is closing in
|Cyclone Vardah 173kms/94nm from landfall|
The morning started normally in Chennai; it had started raining the previous night. And, I was keeping track of its progress through windytv, which showed the progress of the cyclone continuously. And, it looked like Chennai is going to be real close to the eye of the storm.
Couldn't enter the road where our office is located because a tree had fallen across the road. Found a place under a fairly young tree who looked like he could withstand the powerful winds. Walked the rest of the way to office (the road was wet and water level rising). By this time, power had been shutdown throughout the city. Our inverter was switched on and we checked the status of the progress of the cyclone Vardah on the web.
Vardah crossing Chennai
The services people were quick to attend, but probably short staffed. The trees on the main roads were being attended to on priority late in the evening.
We decided to go back home, when there was a lull in the storm at about 3pm. By this time, our road was inundated and yet another tree had fallen to Vardah. We waded through knee deep water till the the nearest junction, where the vehicle was parked covered fully in twigs and leaves, truly a green automobile.
The relief of finding the vehicle unharmed transformed into disappointment, when we realised that we were trapped when Vardah sir told us "Hey! I am the boss for today! Why don't you leave the vehicle here tonight at my mercy and walk home".
So, we found a safe place without any trees around, parked the vehicle. Luckily, a friend who stays nearby, lent their Honda Activa and we reached home by about 7pm.
Cyclone Vardah - the aftermath
A drive around the town has revealed that four wheelers are better avoided if you need to use the side roads, most of them resembling forest bushes with fallen trees everywhere. Right now, two wheelers are the best for transportation.
There is one thing that all the people of Chennai agree, which is that there has never been as devastating a cyclonic storm in Chennai before Vardah.