If You Live Creekside

Keep leaves and other items out of the creek

  • 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.”
    Backyard Berm
  • Restoring or creating a floodplain or backyard berm requires professional eco-engineering and flood management assistance.