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City of Seattle
Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: City Crews Continue to Respond to Storm

12/4/2007  6:00:00 AM

City Crews Continue to Respond to Storm

Seattle has Second Wettest Day in History

SEATTLE - Over night city crews continued to respond to emergency service calls resulting from yesterday’s storm. Nearly five inches of rain fell in 24 hours. Seattle experienced the second wettest day in its history. More than 5.8 billion gallons of record rainfall, the equivalent of six Green Lakes full of water, has caused neighborhood flooding and landslides throughout the city of Seattle.

Calls from Seattle residents reporting flooding and other water related problems dropped off significantly after midnight. Seattle Police, Fire Department and City Light crews report normal overnight activity.

SPU will have 31 crews responding at first light this morning, including six vactor trucks for cleaning out drains throughout the city. Seattle Department of Transportation crews will also begin working on roads and streets that are closed due to the flooding and land slides.

The City had received 1,800 citizen phone calls by early afternoon, and crews are continuing to respond throughout the night. As weather conditions continue to settle down, call volumes also are slowing down.

Seattle City Light reported fewer than 200 outages yesterday, with only one apartment complex still without power as of 5 a.m. this morning. Repairs to stabilize a hillside will have to be completed before power can be restored to about 70 customers along Westlake Ave.

During the morning commute and throughout the coming days, drivers are urged to pay attention to road closures and to observe all traffic revisions for their own safety and the safety of work crews.

Updates by Seattle’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) include the following:

  • A pump station at 107th and Midvale N. was overwhelmed by the rain and became backed up Monday evening. SPU crews bypassed the pump station and diverted water into the storm drain system. SPU will continue to monitor the situation, and will inspect the pump station as soon as conditions permit.

  • A water main was exposed on 105th at 27th NE due to severe erosion. The intersection will remain closed into Tuesday. Drivers are urged to observe all traffic revisions out of concern for their safety and the safety of work crews.

  • 2400 block of Westlake Ave N, one southbound lane closed due to slide

  • Perkins Lane at W Raye Street--street closed at three locations by slides

  • Golden Gardens Drive at View Ave NW is closed until spring. The dog run will be accessible from the park at the bottom of the hill.

  • Lake Washington Boulevard through the Arboretum is closed due to flooding. Traffic exiting SR 520 at that location is diverted to Montlake. Traffic approaching from the south is diverted to Interlaken.

  • Streets between Aurora Ave N and Stone Way N, N 109 St and N 105th St are closed due to flooding.

  • 15th Ave NE is closed at NE 133rd due to flooding.

  • At 130th and Riviera, a fifty-foot section of road has been closed and is expected to remain closed into Tuesday

  • Third and Virginia re-opened to traffic at 9 p.m. after a broken water main was repaired

  • Flooding at Meadowbrook continues to recede; inspectors and crews are working with residents who have been impacted by flooding

  • Beach Drive SW is open

  • Harbor Ave SW is open

  • Battery Street Tunnel is open

  • Harbor Ave SW and Fairmount--open

  • Flooding at 107th St. North and Midvale: seven flooded structures were tagged with emergency notices of limited entry due to loss of power and fire safety systems. Tags were delivered by the Fire Dept. by boat.

  • The Battery Street Tunnel is open both ways, flooding receded.

The City of Seattle reminds citizens to call the following numbers during flooding emergencies:

  • (206) 684-3000 to report non-life threatening problems with power, water, sewer or drainage;
  • (206) 386-1800 if there is a blockage below the street surface that is not remedied by removing the obstacle;
  • 911 if life or property is at risk.

Drivers are strongly cautioned NOT to drive through standing water.

Emergency Shelters:

If you have been displaced by flooding, contact the Red Cross, which is setting up emergency shelters in Shoreline. The Red Cross 24-hour phone number is (206) 323-2345.

The City of Seattle’s severe weather shelters at City Hall and the Frye Shelter are open.

The City Hall Shelter is co-ed and opened at 9:00 p.m.

The Frye Severe Weather Shelter is for women only. The shelter opened at 8:00 p.m., with women being accepted at the Frye directly.

Given the extreme rain and weather over the past two few days, additional overflow shelter was provided on Monday December 3. People may access the overflow shelter at Downtown Emergency Services Center, located at 517 Third Avenue, after 9:30 p.m. Referrals are not required.

What to do if your home is flooded:

The City of Seattle advises residents to take the following precautions if their properties are flooded:

  • When reentering the building, use flashlights, rather than lanterns or candles (in case of gas leaks).
  • Turn off power at circuit breaker for areas exposed to flooding. If the circuit breaker is threatened by flood waters, contact Seattle City Light at (206) 684-3000 to request a crew come out and turn the power off.
  • Keep children and pets away from the area.
  • Have a professional check your heating system, electrical panel, outlets and appliances for safety before using. Call the gas company to have them turn the gas back on.
  • Check for structural damage that could cause the building to collapse. Be cautious of potential gas leaks, electrical shorts and live wires.
  • If there is a heavy storm and sewage backs up through sinks or toilets, call Seattle Public Utilities' sewer and drainage maintenance staff, (206) 386-1800. City workers will check and remove blockages in the main sewer line. If the problem is the result of too much storm water in the system, you may have to wait until the storm has subsided to have the backup resolved.
  • Thoroughly clean the contaminated area. Use rubber gloves and disinfectants.
  • Discard saturated wall-to-wall carpet and pad; clean all hard surfaces with hot water and soap, then rinse with a bleach solution of one tablespoon of household bleach to one gallon of water.
  • Call Public Health-Seattle and King County for more detailed information, (206) 296-4632.
  • Document your losses. Photograph damages and record repair costs.
  • Contact your insurance agent for flood loss claims.
  • City representatives are already working with many residents who have been impacted by severe flooding. If you believe that you have experienced damage to your property due to problems with City systems, call (206) 684-3000. Detailed information about claims also is available on the City’s website,

More sewer backup clean up tips:

  • Keep children and pets out of the area until clean-up has been completed
  • Wear rubber gloves and boots
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and launder clothes separately after completing the clean-up
  • Remove all furniture, loose rugs, and so on from the area
  • Open all doors and windows to allow the moisture to flow outside. A humidifier will speed up drying
  • If you are sensitive to mold or mildew, wear a mask or respirator containing an appropriate filter
  • Never turn on wet electric appliances because they may cause an electric shock, overheat, or start a fire
  • Mop concrete floor and walls with a bleach solution (3/4 cups of household bleach to a gallon of water). Rinse and dry after 5 minutes
  • Open windows when applying the bleach solution
  • If you suspect that your well was flooded, be sure to get a laboratory test to ensure your drinking water is free from contamination.
  • Saturated wall-to-wall carpeting (and the pad) usually cannot be adequately cleaned. They should be removed, wrapped in plastic, and taken to a transfer station or sanitary landfill. If you decide to keep the carpeting, hire a licensed carpet cleaning company to steam clean and disinfect the carpet.
  • Upholstered furniture, loose rugs, drapery, and so on should be professionally cleaned. Notify the cleaner of the problem.
  • Remove and replace plaster, plasterboard, and lath that have been saturated and are soft to the touch. If the surface has been wetted, clean as you would a hard surface, but do not saturate the plaster.
  • Clean sinks, dishwashers, and other plumbing fixtures that have had sewage back-up with detergent, and then rinse with the bleach solution.
  • Disinfect clean-up mops, brooms, and brushes with the bleach solution.

Safe Air Alert:

  • Only use a generator outdoors and far from open windows and vents
  • Never use a generator indoors, in garages or carports
  • Never cook or heat inside on a charcoal or gas grill


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