Our Response

For emergencies, call 911

For damaging flooding, chemical spills or sewer backups, call the 24/7 Operations Response Center (206) 386-1800.

For non-urgent plugged storm drains, please make a service request.

How the City responds to flooding caused by storms

SPU monitors reports from the National Weather Service and other sources, and then responds to flood watches, warnings, and advisories.

During storms, SPU crews respond to customers that call in to report such issues as water ponding on streets or flooding of properties, and in some cases backups from the sewer system onto private properties. In between storms, SPU continually looks for ways to improve systems to track storms, efficiently dispatch crews, record damages, upgrade equipment, and direct investments where they are needed.

Flooding calls

  • If you experience flooding, drainage or sewer backups, or witness significant ponding on the street, call SPU’s Operations Response Center at (206) 386-1800.
  • The operator will ask you a series of questions to help discern the likely source of the problem. You will be asked for your address or intersection, your name and contact number.
  • During heavy storms, please be aware that you may not be contacted directly by the field crew who is working on the problem if you reported ponding in the street, and you may not see the crew that has taken care of the blockage.
  • The field crews move quickly through the drainage system clearing inlets of debris and going to the next problem location.

Response during large storms

  • In large storms, the number of crews are increased and more operators are available to answer calls. They work around the clock in difficult conditions to protect your safety and property.
  • Life-threatening situations are their first priority.

Citywide Emergency Operations Center

When a severe storm or other disaster occurs, the City will activate the Emergency Operation Center to help coordinate the response efforts. Senior staff and supporting partner agencies determine how to best provide services to the community when urgent demands outweigh critical resources. Safety and emergency information will be shared with residents via am/fm radio. That's why it's so important to have a battery operated am/fm radio in your disaster supply kit.

To learn more about putting together a disaster supplies kit and information on Citywide response, visit the Office of Emergency Management website.