How flooded Chennai managed to keep power supply almost uninterrupted

In 2015 after the December 1 heavy rainfall, many sub-stations, transformers in and around Chennai city were damaged

Most parts of Chennai are under water, but power supply or the lack of it has not been a major issue. That’s mostly because Tangedco, unlike 2015, has taken several steps to keep the supply smooth and uninterrupted.

To prevent water from entering sub-stations, Tangedco increased the height of the sub-station entrance and built high walls around them.

In 2015, when the Adyar River was flooded following the release of water from Chembarambakkam, Guindy sub-station and sub-stations along the river or even close to the sea were totally submerged, cutting off power supply for a week.

Also read: Heavy rains leave Chennai flooded; water released from Puzhal, Chembarambakkam


Lessons learnt, and on Sunday, only one sub-station (B&C Mills sub-station in North Chennai) was flooded, and with the help of motors, water was quickly drained out.

“It was on Sunday morning we came to know about the areas in which waterlogging was there. Within the city, only the Binny sub-station in North Chennai was flooded due to excess rainwater.  Even there, power supply was restored quickly. In 2015, apart from heavy rainfall, water from Adyar River entered the sub-stations forcing us to stop power supply,” said a senior Tangedco official.

This year many areas were flooded in and around Chennai city and once the water level started to come down, power supply was restored.

“We cut power supply in some areas only for safety reasons. In Pulianthope and nearby areas too power supply has been stopped and water is being drawn out. Hopefully, power will be restored later today,” said the official.

In 2015 after the December 1 heavy rainfall, many sub-stations, transformers in and around Chennai city were damaged. “This year there is no such big damage to any of the Tangedco’s infrastructure as the water did not enter any other sub-station except B&C Mills sub-station,” said the official.

Tangedco has asked residents not to touch any powerlines or use the lines to dry their clothes, not to touch switches if the wall is damp, and not to walk on water-logged roads.