KUALA LUMPUR: Times have been tough for F&B operators affected by the floods and might get worse in the aftermath.

Clifford Too, the owner of frozen yoghurt brand Moo Cow, suffered a blow to his business when his production facility along Jalan Ipoh in Kuala Lumpur was badly damaged by the floods in the Klang Valley.

“The water levels came up very fast. In 30 minutes, they were knee-high. In 45 minutes, the cars on the road were gone and the water level had come up to four feet,” he said.

Anticipating the worst, Too asked his employees to come back to work on Saturday night to start moving the most expensive equipment to the second and third floors.

Some items – like the refrigerator – could not be moved and ended up being completely damaged.

“Our cold room was totally flooded and the water made its way to the finished product, so we had to throw away all the yoghurt,” he said.

After thoroughly cleaning his facility, Too said he tried to restart production but discovered that two of his water pumps were no longer working, which meant an even longer production delay.

“The long-term damage is still not clear. Like our pump was working the day before but now it is not, so I think it will take time to estimate the total damage caused by the flood,” he said.

For others, the situation has been even more dire. Restoran Muneer is in Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam, the epicentre of the devastating floods in Selangor.

“On Saturday at 6.30pm, the water was at knee-level. I knew how dangerous it was so I told my staff, ‘It doesn’t matter if you cannot close the shop properly. I don’t care – just save your lives and go home’,” said Mohamed Sharafath Muneer, the owner.

“The next day, with no help in sight, four or five of them who lived nearby swam to the restaurant as they were really hungry.

“When the staff reached the restaurant, they discovered that nearly everything was underwater the water level had reached the height of the ceiling fan,” he added.

After four days of flooding, Muneer has finally been able to discover the true extent of the damage to his restaurant, and estimates his losses to be heavy.

“We still cannot start the business. For me, the main point was saving the lives of the workers. But since water levels rose so quickly and we couldn’t close the shop properly, everything was destroyed.

“My chairs and tables are completely damaged, my icebox, computer, cameras, the entire ordering system – everything is all gone. I don’t know what to do,” said a distraught Muneer.