Do not store furniture or other items like firewood, fuel tanks, containers and loose items in flood-prone areas or near stream channels, as high flows can wash these items into the creek.
Anything that enters the creek can result in blocking downstream culverts, causing local flooding.
Even leaves and branches washed into the creek and culverts increase the risk of flooding. Store your yard waste and debris in secure bins or bags for curbside pickup - not along the creek.
Exercise caution during storms
Urban creeks can be unpredictable during storms.
Stay out of the creek until the storm passes through, even if you see debris building up.
Instead of trying to remove debris yourself, report concerns to (206) 386-1800.
Create a backyard berm or restore a floodplain with neighbors
FEMA defines a floodplain as "Any land area that is susceptible to being inundated by water from any source." Most properties near creeks are likely in a floodplain.
These are more permanent solutions to flooding than sandbags - made of soil and plants.
It is critical that neighbors work together on these projects. The best results will occur by working together within a specific stream reach or section. You need to design your projects so that floodwaters are not sent to your neighbors’ homes.
In areas where urban streams flow through private property, it may be possible to utilize your yard as a temporary floodplain. For this to be effective there must be sufficient space between structures (house, garage, etc.). The structures you are trying to protect must be at a higher elevation than the stream channel.
You may be able to construct either a natural floodplain (preferred) or a “backyard berm.”
Restoring or creating a floodplain or backyard berm requires professional eco-engineering and flood management assistance.