WASHINGTON • Torrential rain lashed Washington and its surrounding areas this week, flooding neighbourhoods and hobbling electricity and transportation networks, Agence France-Presse reported.
The National Weather Service (NWS) on Monday issued a flash flood warning as the storm hit, forcing the closures of many major roads. Airports and rail networks were also hit, causing delays.
The Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport received 83mm of rainfall in just one hour, the NWS added in a tweet.
Dramatic footage aired on TV stations and posted on social media showed vehicles submerged on roads near major landmarks like the Washington Monument, and some motorists standing on the roofs of their cars.
The main power vault of the National Archives building - which houses some of the most important documents in American history - was flooded, cutting power as the streets around it were submerged.
"The building's flood walls deployed and worked," the institution said in a statement. "The Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights - along with all of the permanently valuable records stored in the building - are safe and not in any danger."
The White House did not escape the deluge. Footage posted by several media outlets showed puddles forming in one of its basements.
Hundreds of customers were affected by power outages because of the rainfall, according to a live map on the website of local utility Pepco.
Despite the widespread flooding, no deaths were reported. The rainfall and floodwaters subsided later in the day.
Elsewhere in the world, floods have also affected parts of Spain, China and Malaysia.
Flash floods that followed torrential rain in northern Spain on Monday night forced road closures and disrupted trains, the regional government said yesterday. One person was killed in the floods.
In China, 228,000 people have been affected by rainstorm-triggered floods in eastern Jiangxi province, the local authorities said on Sunday. Rainstorms have battered the province since last Wednesday, Xinhua reported.
China's meteorological authorities have also alerted the southern regions to prepare for heavy rains. Rainstorms are expected to hit parts of Guizhou, Guangxi, Guangdong, Hunan, Jiangxi, Fujian, Zhejiang and Tibet over the coming days.
Meanwhile, floods in Melaka have receded after the coastal Malaysian state was inundated by continuous rain that began on Sunday. The number of victims had fallen to 753 yesterday morning, from 934 on Monday night, Sinar Harian reported.