Heavy Rains: Adopt your drain

Number one priority is safety: stay out of street when raking drains

drain Heavy Rains: Adopt your drain

With a significant rainfall this week, Seattle Public Utilities is urging residents to adopt their local drains, and make sure they are free of leaves and debris.

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.

In addition to adopting a neighborhood storm drain, residents and businesses can take two other important steps to get ready for the storm season:

  • Maintain gutters, downspouts, rain barrels, private culverts by keeping them clean, flowing and directed away from properties and hillsides.
  • 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, 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 206-386-1800.

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