Mumbai: No July 26 deluge but took 260 min for 26 km!

Mumbai: The peak weekend hour traffic on Western Express Highway went for a toss due to heavy rain on Friday. Those heading to the airport were the worst affected.

Not just parts of Western Highway were water logged. Juhu Tara Road, Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road and several stretches of SV Road were inundated, leading to bumper to bumper traffic.

It took one motorist two hours to reach Veera Desai road from Vile Parle. Many similar accounts were put out on social media. On this day -- July 26 – Mumbai had drowned in 2005, when large swathes of the city were inundated after a cloudburst.

Like a proverbial bad memory, some of the scenes were recreated on the waterlogged roads on Friday. Abhishek Srivastava could not help tweeting about the 2005 deluge.

"I walked all the way from Vidyavihar to Powai when the Matunga to Vidyavihar came to a screeching halt. It was an 8-hour journey on foot. Made it home that very day."

The flights were delayed by 30 minutes or so. Seventeen flights were diverted to nearby airports and four flights had to do ‘go-around' before they could land, a spokesperson of the Mumbai airport said in the evening, a wire agency reported.

Waterlogging was also reported outside the domestic airport departure gate, leading to much inconvenience for passengers who had managed to reach the airport after being stuck in traffic jams for two-and-half hours on the Western Express Highway.

The heavy rain brought the temperatures down to 25 degrees; however, the rain was not a patch on the 944 mm rainfall received in a single day in 2005. On Friday, from 8 am to 8 pm, the city had received 57.22 mm of rain – 66 mm in Western Suburbs and 88.36 mm in the eastern pockets.

ORANGE ALERT: Earlier in the day, IMD issued an orange alert for Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts and also predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai in the next 24 hours. An orange alert signifies that the authorities should get ready for necessary action.

According to an IMD forecast, heavy rainfall and thunderstorm -- accompanied with lightening – is expected all night. ‘‘We request citizens to avoid venturing around the sea and avoid parking vehicles under a tree. Call 1916 for in any emergency," the BMC tweeted. The surge in monsoon activity is likely to continue till July 30.

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