Seattle Public Utilities is urging people to help clean out leaves and debris from the storm drains in front of their house before heavy rains hit.
When bad weather hits this time of year, storm drains can easily become overwhelmed with leaves and the summer’s accumulated street debris, resulting in backed up gutters and drains, and localized flooding. In Seattle, there are about 80,000 storm drains — far more than city crews can clear quickly.
Safely adopting a local storm drain or drainage ditch—that means staying out of the road when raking—by keeping it clear of leaves, snow and other debris is the single most important thing that residents, businesses can do to protect their property.
Know the emergency hotline number for your local drainage utility, to report sewer backups, major flooding and landslide issues. The Take Winter By Storm website,www.takewinterbystorm.org, provides a one-stop emergency preparedness center that includes safety tips and regional resources for information about the weather, power outages, flooding, shelters and assistance agencies. In Seattle, that number for reporting flooding issues is 386-1800.