Thailand's rain-swollen Chao Phraya River passed its peak stage Monday, raising hopes that central Bangkok will be spared the flooding that has already inundated much of the city's northern and western suburbs.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the government is now focused on repairing several ruptures in the city's flood barriers where water still is seeping through.
She said once those repairs are made, residents should be able to begin to relax.
However, residents in areas outside the flood barriers remain deeply frustrated as the water continues to pour through their streets and into their homes.
One resident of a district north of Bangkok said that in his neighborhood, the water still seems to be rising.
He said he does not know when it will recede.
Months of flooding across central Thailand have sent massive amounts of water southward toward the capital, its last obstacle on the way to the sea. The flood peak in Bangkok has coincided with unusually high tides which have pushed water back up the Chao Phraya River.
The combination has strained the city's flood barriers to their capacity, creating leaks that have sent ankle-high water into downtown streets around Bangkok's iconic Grand Palace and other tourist attractions.
Tens of thousands of residents have fled the area on bamboo rafts, vans, army trucks or on foot, heading for higher ground in the south. Many have flown out of the city.
The flooding that began in July – the country's worst in 50 years – has already claimed more than 380 lives. The material losses are yet to be determined.