This is our adventure experience on the night of Vardha cyclone. We moved out of Chennai city in two cars crossing all obstacles. Here is the story of that trip.
Usually lots of cyclones will pass Chennai every year simply, but Vardha, the cyclone made severe damage to Chennai city. About 1 lakh trees has uprooted and lots of houses were also destroyed.
Actually My area is one of the less affected area by this cyclone. My wife and I were simply passing the day by watching the dance of trees from our balcony. A rumor started spreading like there will be a huge flood after the cyclone. Thats why we decided to move out of City.
Every other flat members of my apartment were soon started from the apartment. Main reason is to protect their cars. My friend and his wife from another flat also joined with us. They took their car and we in our car. The journey begins with four peoples in two cars by evening 5 o'clock
We rushed towards the highway in that unusual storm, watching the falling trees. A big tree fallen just after my friend's car and thats actually a near miss. With lot of fear we caught the highway and steered towards North for one hour. We stopped at a highway hotel and found that place is safe.
We have no idea, where to stay on that night and where to go next. We sat in car for almost three hours just discussing things.
We were discussing to go to our natives. My native is Kanyakumari which is about 750kms and might be 9 hours travel. My friend's home is at thiruchendur which is 650kms and 8 hours journey. I then decided to go to Trichy which is 350kms distance. My mom is a school teacher there.
But there was a confusion about the roadway. We have two options.
Option A : Driving driving back in the same highway, facing the obstacles and straightforward to South.
Option B : Driving few miles towards west and taking a left turn to South, a complete safe road but extra miles.
We finalized option A.
There was another confusion about driving two cars. Since its a long drive, Initially we planned to leave one car somewhere nearby and four of us can go in a single car, but that idea doesn't convincing. We then changed our mind and took both cars.
While we started the time was almost 10.30 and raining. It was very difficult to drive in that rainy night. We soon realized the road was completely blocked due to fallen trees. Hundreds of cars already blocked in front of us. Some cars even returned backward.
There is no immediate U turn, but my friend turned his car in that road it self, he said he knows another road and just to follow him. I turned my car and followed my friend in wrong direction.
Its raining and the road was not clear. I was little afraid, What if any vehicle come faster and hit us. I turned on my parking lights and continued driving. Good for us, there was a exit bay to service road in few mins. We made a turn from highway.
But new challenges just started there..
The road was new and incomplete. Also completely flooded. A lake in that area has breached and water flooded over the roadway. There were lots of potholes and work zone obstacles in the road. Those were hidden under the water and turned that road hazardous.
We slowly moved forward. After a bit while we faced a bridge, water flowing on that. We stopped there. To be honest I've no guts to cross that bridge. Vehicles came on the opposite road were also stopped at the other side of that bridge. We were hopelessly stared the flowing water there for about couple of minutes.
Then a cab driver who came after us, over taken our car and slowly crossed that bridge. We were watching that car completely crossing the bridge. After that my friend forwarded through the water and then I followed my friend.
That is the highly thrilled moment of that entire trip. While crossing, at one point suddenly water level risen and splashes of water kissed my front glass. My wife screamed, somehow I managed to drive.
After crossing that challenge we continued on that risky road. Along with fallen trees electric line posts were also blocked our ways. We had to drive very carefully on that road.
After almost two hours drive on that under construction road we again joined the highway. If we didn't took this diversion, probably we might stuck in the highway traffic. That risky diversion was definitely worth of try.
We saw something unexpected in highway. The highway was completely filled with broken trees everywhere. Almost all big trees seems fallen on the road. That was honestly a painful scene. Years of old trees just uprooted in this cyclone.
That is a three lane bypass road. Only one lane cleared for vehicles, so there was a long traffic. Inch by inch we moved forward.
Traffic continued till 3 o'clock. After that we filled fuel and had a cup of coffee. We drove the whole night. About 5 o'clock we felt tired. So we stopped at a toll gate and slept for 45 minutes. We continued the drive and I reach trichy by 7 o'clock in the morning..
My night drive came to an end there. My friend continued driving until he reaches his home. He reached by 11 o'clock.
That is new dimension driving experience for me. That night journey gave me a inner strength to manage difficult situations of life. My driving skills improved too.