0427 GMT July 17, 2019
The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Warning as the storm hit, drowning roads and forcing closures of many major arteries. Airports and rail networks were also hit, causing delays, AFP reported.
The American capital's Ronald Reagan airport received 3.3 inches (around 83 millimeters) of rainfall in just one hour, the NWS added in a tweet.
Dramatic footage aired on local 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 as the floodwaters rose.
One such video showed water gushing down through a hole in the roof of a Washington metro station.
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 White House was not spared either: Footage posted by several correspondents and outlets showed puddles forming in one of its basements.