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Prepare for this Season’s High Tides

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) plans for cold and wet weather. This preparation is critical to ensuring that your drainage, wastewater, drinking water, and solid waste services are sustained through inclement weather or, if they can’t be, that you know what to do. For more information about preparing for wet and winter weather, see SPU’s Weather Preparedness page.

Last year, Seattle’s South Park neighborhood experienced devastating flooding from a level of high tide inundation that wasn’t predicted for another 20 years. SPU provided emergency response services. Now, almost a year later, SPU has included winter’s highest tides in our emergency preparedness and response planning, and the Utility has been working directly in the South Park community to support preparedness.

As we continue supporting South Park, we are also sharing information about this season’s highest tides, encouraging preparations by residents and businesses, and explaining how SPU has and will respond.

Highest Tides in the 2023-2024 Season

The highest tides in the 2023-2024 season are predicted for January 12-17 and February 12-13. All seasonal high tide dates are as follows:

  • November 28-30*
  • December 14-21
  • December 26-29
  • January 11-18
  • February 10-15

Community Preparedness is Essential

If your neighborhood or property has experienced flooding in the past, we encourage you to prepare now for flooding. This can include safely clearing catch basins, checking roof downspouts for debris, testing sewer backup equipment like grinder pumps, creating an emergency kit, and stacking new/inspecting existing sandbags. Visit the City’s Flooding Safety and Response website for more information.

We encourage people who live or work in Seattle to sign-up for AlertSeattle. It is the City of Seattle’s official emergency alert system and provides text, email, and phone alerts. People who live or work in flood prone areas of South Park should sign up for sign up for SPU flooding preparedness notifications

How SPU Prepares for and Responds to Flooding

In advance of the season, SPU inspects critical parts of the drainage system, creates a flood-control barrier along the river, and ensures staff are prepared to respond to customer needs. SPU also monitors tide levels, storm surge, and atmospheric pressure daily to help guide our response.

SPU implements a city-wide response plan based on rainfall levels and now also implements a South Park Emergency Response Plan based on tide and rainfall levels. The South Park plan describes closing flood-control barrier openings and installing large pumps.