Flooding Response

If you see flooding or ponding, drainage or sewer backups, sewer overflows, or a blocked culvert or creek, call Seattle Public Utilities' (SPU's) Operations Response Center at (206) 386-1800. When you call, provide your name, address, contact information, the address of issue, and general information about the issue.

During heavy storms, you may not be contacted directly by or see the crew that is working on the problem. Crews move quickly to resolve issues.

The City will activate the Emergency Operation Center during severe storms or other disasters to help coordinate the response efforts. Safety and emergency information will be shared with residents via AM/FM radio, TV broadcast, AlertSeattle, and social media.


During Storms or Flooding

  • Keep your distance from downed power lines and electrical wires.
  • Stay on 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.
  • If instructed by authorities, turn off utilities at the main switches and/or evacuate immediately.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
  • Avoid walking or driving in flooding areas. Low-lying areas and creeks can be unpredictable during storms. Water can hide hazards and be more powerful than anticipated.
  • Listen to local radio and TV stations.
  • Report concerns to (206) 386-1800 instead of trying to remove debris yourself.


Right After Storms or Flooding

  • When instructed by authorities, carefully re-enter your home if you were flooded and/or evacuated.
  • Stay out of all buildings that are holding flood waters.
  • If you turned off your utilities, check with electricity, gas and water authorities to determine whether supplies to your area have been interrupted and are safe to be turned on by you. Check for gas leaks.
  • Be extremely cautious with all electrical items. Every source of electricity can be extremely dangerous under flood conditions.
  • Move around slowly and carry a flashlight as you inspect for damage. Watch for loose floorboards, holes in the floor, protruding nails, and sagging ceiling areas that may be ready to fall.
  • Discard all foods and drinking water exposed to flood water except those in sealed (air-tight) containers.
  • Avoid using the toilets and water faucets until you have checked for sewage and water line damage. If you suspect damage, call a plumber.
  • Clean up. The walls, floors, closets, shelves, contents and any other flooded parts of your home should be thoroughly washed and disinfected.
  • Pump out flooding basements gradually. Pump out about one-third of the water per day to avoid structural damage. If the water is pumped completely in a short period of time, pressure from water-saturated soil on the outside could cause basement walls to collapse.
  • Document any damages. Take photos of any water in the house and save damaged personal property. Use your time/date stamp.


Additional Resources


Public Utilities

Andrew Lee, General Manager and CEO
Address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 4900, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34018, Seattle, WA, 98124-5177
Phone: (206) 684-3000

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Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is comprised of three major direct-service providing utilities: the Water Utility, the Drainage and Wastewater Utility, and the Solid Waste Utility.