KUALA LUMPUR: A three-hour thunderstorm unleashed flash floods in several parts of the Klang Valley that turned roads into waterways, causing widespread jams during the evening rush hour.
One of the worst-hit areas was the Pekeliling flats where two families from the ground floor had to be evacuated after knee-deep flood waters entered their homes.
In other parts of the valley, at least 118 families had to be evacuated.
Floodwaters rose to a metre in some places at one time.
Among the badly affected areas were Jalan Parlimen, Segambut, Jalan Sg Besi, Old Klang Road, Jalan Tun Abdul Razak, Damansara, Jalan Duta and parts of the North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE).
The Kuala Lumpur City Hall rescue squad said almost 50 families in Kampung Sungai Udang in Segambut had to be evacuated.
In Sungai Besi, Civil Defence Department personnel evacuated 60 families from Kampung Malaysia Tambahan to the community hall near the village.
A motorist, among scores of people who called The Star between 6pm to 7pm from their stranded vehicles, described the situation as horrendous.
“This is one of the worst flash floods I have experienced in the city,” he said. “I feel sorry for my Muslim friends who could not break their fast.”
The thunderstorm started at 4.30pm and lasted for about three hours.
City Hall’s flood monitoring centre at Jalan Tun Razak reported flash floods at Kg Bakar.
“We have sent our people over there to assess the situation,” said a spokesman.
Bukit Lanjan state assemblyman Yong Dai Ying said poor drainage problem was believed to be one of the causes of the floods during rainy days.
She said she would discuss with the respective government agencies, housing developers and resident associations to find ways to solve the problem.
In Klang and Shah Alam, flash floods caused drains to overflow with water rising as high as 0.3m in many parts.
Traffic was at a standstill around the Klang town centre and on major roads such as Persiaran Sultan Ibrahim, Persiaran Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, Persiaran Raja Muda Musa, Jalan Tengku Kelana, Jalan Pasar, Jalan Raya Barat, Jalan Meru and Jalan Kapar.
The high water level made traffic impassable at the NKVE several kilometres after the Bukit Rajah toll plaza between 8pm and 9.30pm.
In Kajang, several main roads in the town and Jalan Reko were flooded.
Floodwaters also rose in Taman Billion, Metro Kajang and at the railway tracks at the Kajang station.
City Fire and Rescue Department assistant director (operations) Abu Obaidat Mohamed said the department has only attended to two minor landslides in Old Klang Road and a tree collapse report in Jalan Parlimen.
He said there were no major rescue operations in the city.
In Malacca, workers from Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) worked round the clock to repair the stretch of railway track damaged near Tebong, about 50km from the city centre, and services were fully restored at 7pm yesterday.
About 20 of them working with heavy equipment braved the intermittent rains.
Several senior KTMB officials were also at the site to check on the progress while Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam dropped by before Friday prayers.
The affected site was between the Tampin and Gemas railway stations.