Crews mopping up after storm

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) crews are mopping up after a Pineapple Express storm dumped more than three inches of rain on the city in 24 hours.

The Utility has received more than 400 customer calls since midnight, and has activated its Urban Flood Response Plan — deploying extra drainage crews throughout Seattle, sending storm observers to various at-risk sections of the city, and increasing the number of emergency call-takers at its Operations Response Center.

At present, SPU is dealing with a heavy volume of calls; and its emergency response system is at full capacity.

“We are responding to emergency calls from customer as quickly as we can,” SPU Deputy Director Nick Pealy said. “We hope to work through our call backlog today, but because of the volume of calls we’ve received, it could be tomorrow before we’re able to get to everybody.

To report flooding or blocked drains or heavy ponding in the street, please call (206) 386-1800.

Under its urban flood plan, SPU’s 16 drainage truck crews drop their normal maintenance duties and respond to field emergency calls. If the volume of calls becomes high enough — as they are today — additional crews are brought in from the SPU’s drinking water operations section and other areas of the Utilities.

Seattle Public Utilities has also been urging residents to familiarize themselves with a wide range of emergency resources — including tips on preventing and responding to floods, bad weather driving recommendations, landslide prevention advice, and information on emergency food and shelters.

For general storm preparedness information, please visit www.takewinterbystorm.org.

In addition to providing a reliable water supply to more than 1.3 million customers in the Seattle metropolitan area, SPU provides essential sewer, drainage, solid waste and engineering services that safeguard public health, maintain the City’s infrastructure and protect, conserve and enhance the region’s environmental resources.