Heavy rain disrupts traffic flow in İstanbul

Traffic was at a virtual standstill on the higway and on many avenues and side streets of the city.

November 19, 2008, Wednesday/ 18:25:00
Heavy rainfall disrupted morning rush-hour traffic and paralyzed daily life in İstanbul on Tuesday. The rain, which started late Monday night and continued through Tuesday, led to traffic congestion in several districts in the city.
Many vehicles were trapped on flooded streets because of blocked storm drains that caused rain water to pool nearly one meter deep at some points. Some 300 traffic accidents occurred at different points in İstanbul, according to the Cihan news agency.

Traffic was at a virtual standstill on the Trans-European Motorway (TEM) as well as on many avenues and side streets of the city. Drivers who were in a rush to get to work formed long queues along the Bosporus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges. The downpour affected many commuters’ travel throughout the day; most were stuck in traffic for prolonged periods.

The heavy rain caused a tractor-trailer to crash into the barriers of the Mahmutbey Viaduct in Bağcılar early Tuesday. The driver was removed from the truck after a one-hour rescue effort. Ayhan Derindere was hospitalized at the Vakıf Gureba Teaching and Research Hospital. Doctors said the driver was not in critical condition.

Strong winds in the western city of Muğla affected maritime traffic. Two vessels ran aground off of Bodrum, but no casualties were reported. A fishing boat in Marmaris sank. Authorities warned fishermen in the area not to go out to sea until the strong winds cease.

In the meantime, meteorologists indicated that the heavy rainfall will continue in many parts of the country throughout the week. A written statement released by the State Meteorology Bureau noted that almost all regions of the country will be affected by showers moving in from the Balkans. Rain is predicted today for the Marmara, Aegean and Black Sea regions along with northwestern parts of central Anatolia and the western Mediterranean region. They will move into eastern Turkey by Thursday.

Most of the country will also see windy conditions, and temperatures are expected to drop by 2 to 4 degrees Celsius.

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