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Update: Our South Park Response Work

On the mornings of December 27 and 28, the tidally influenced Duwamish River overtopped its banks and flooded numerous homes and businesses in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood, a low-lying community which has experienced moderate flooding and sewer backups in the past. This week’s extreme king tide, combined with days of heavy rain, made for an unprecedented event.

 Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and community partners, as well as other City Departments, are providing direct support to impacted neighbors. SPU currently has a mobile trailer onsite to facilitate recovery efforts.

Image shows a wide-angle view of the emergency hygiene station setup in South Park.

Currently, Seattle Public Utilities has:

  • Worked directly with more than 15 homes and businesses to assess damage and offer short-term emergency housing. People from approximately 11 properties are currently in hotels.
  • Cleared more than 9,500 pounds of garbage and debris from the neighborhood. 
  • Temporarily located hygiene facilities (porta-potties, handwashing stations, and shower facilities) to support community members, nonprofit staff, and city staff who need them. 

Two community nonprofits have been providing critical leadership and support: the Duwamish River Community Coalition and Just Health Action. They have been at the front line of supporting impacted community members including identifying, prioritizing, and filling community needs. 

High tide inundation was the primary cause of this event, but different weather events combined to deliver a devastating punch to the community. As a city, we need to continue working together to adapt to new extremes that are expected to occur more frequently in the future.

SPU is committed to not only supporting impacted residents with immediate needs but also long-term investments and strategies: infrastructure projects that improve drainage, planning with community partners to improve resiliency in the face of climate change, and advocating for federal support to protect our communities from flooding.