Government spokeswoman Thitima Chaisaeng said the move is a precautionary measure.
"We think that a state of emergency is not necessary at this moment," she said.
To protect their cars, residents double parked along elevated highways, making it nearly impossible to navigate around a city where traffic is congested on a normal day.
As water from Thailand's worst flood in half a century bore down on the capital, officials changed course.
Until now, they had hoped that strengthening flood barriers and widening canals would keep populated areas safe.
But now the government is trying a different tack: opening floodgates to relieve pressure on dams and levees and send the water toward the sea.
The decision to divert water through canals in Bangkok means parts of the city will likely be flooded. Read More