During the Storm

What to do during storms or flooding.

Call (206) 386-1800 if you notice a culvert blockage

  • The City of Seattle has specially trained and equipped crews to perform this type of work.
  • Be prepared to give the location of the blockage by street name or intersection description.
  • To protect your safety, do not try to clear blockages. Not all blockages can be cleared during the storm – often crews need to wait until the floodwaters recede.
  • Stay out of traffic, and don't try to lift heavy metal grates or maintenance (man) hole lids.
  • If you are near a detention pond during a storm, do not enter the pond area - these ponds are designed to fill with floodwaters, often very quickly. Do not operate any valves or open any chambers or boxes. Do not enter any creeks or culverts to attempt to remove or dislodge debris.

Listen/watch for flood reports and instructions

  • Listen to local radio and TV stations for information and advice.
  • Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
  • Evacuate immediately if told to do so by authorities.

Keep to the higher floors of your home

If your basement is prone to flooding, stay out of the basement until the risk of flooding has passed.

Keep your distance from downed power lines

Electric current passes easily through water, so stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires.

Avoid walking or driving in flooded areas

  • Low-lying areas are prone to flash floods, so be cautious.
  • Water can hide drop offs, washed out bridges, or other unseen dangers. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way.
  • Avoid walking through floodwaters. As little as six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Don't drive through a flooded area. Enter only if absolutely essential and safe to do so, and proceed slowly and steadily.
  • A car can be carried away by just two feet of flood water. If your vehicle becomes stranded in flood water, leave it and move to higher ground.
  • Do not step out of your vehicle in flooded intersections, as maintenance (man) hole covers may get dislodged and there could be an open hole to fall in.