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November 2015
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CityLink Seattle

Rain is coming; you can help prevent clogged street drains

Learn how prepare for winter weather, at TakeWinterByStorm.org

SEATTLE — With National Weather Service forecasts calling for up to four inches of rain today through Saturday, the Take Winter by Storm campaign is urging residents of Western Washington urban areas to adopt local street drains, to make sure they are free of leaves and debris.

This time of year, storm drains can easily become overwhelmed with leaves and the summer’s accumulated street debris, resulting in backed up gutters and drains, and localized flooding. In Seattle, for example, there are about 80,000 storm drains — far more than city crews can clear quickly.

Safely adopting a local storm drain or drainage ditch — that means staying out of the road when raking — by keeping it clear of leaves, snow and other debris is the single most important thing that residents, businesses can do to protect their property.

In addition to adopting a neighborhood storm drain, residents and businesses can take two other important steps to get ready for the storm season:

  • Maintain gutters, downspouts, rain barrels, private culverts by keeping them clean, flowing and directed away from properties and hillsides.
  • Know the emergency hotline number for your local drainage utility, to report sewer backups, major flooding and landslide issues. Take Winter by Storm is a one-stop emergency preparedness center that includes safety tips and regional resources for information about the weather, power outages, flooding, shelters and assistance agencies. In Seattle, that number for reporting flooding issues is 386-1800.

For a wealth of information on preparing for bad weather, visit Take Winter by Storm.