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City of Seattle asks residents to help prevent flooding, watch for falling ice

Temperatures are forecast to rise. Rain is coming and the City of Seattle is shifting its focus to clearing storm drains to prevent localized flooding.

The City’s Emergency Operations Center continues to operate, monitoring weather conditions and coordinating the City’s response to the winter storm event. The Joint Information Center activated at 5:30 a.m.

The morning commute remains challenging, with slush and ice still coating many residential streets and sidewalks in the early hours. Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) crews worked overnight, plowing and applying salt. Arterials are mostly bare and wet with some slush.

With the thaw on the way, the City is asking residents and businesses to locate nearby storm drains in the street and  — if it’s safe  —  to clear them of snow and debris. It’s the single most important thing people can do to protect their property and prevent water from pooling and creating traffic hazards.

In Seattle, there are about 80,000 storm drains — far more than City crews can clear quickly.

If an inlet or street drain appears to be blocked by snow or debris, try to safely clear a channel to provide a path for the runoff. If the drain cannot be cleared, or if the cause of the blockage or flooding is uncertain, call Seattle Public Utilities at (206) 386-1800.

Businesses and residents are reminded to keep their sidewalks clear. Pedestrians should exercise caution – many sidewalks are icy, and there is danger of falling ice from trees, buildings and power lines.

Seattle City Light has restored power to more than 6500 residents. Less than 100 customers remain without power this morning. For more details, visit

There will be no residential garbage pickups today, and limited commercial and apartment services.

If your garbage, recycling, and food/yard waste was not picked up this week, please put them out on your next regularly scheduled pickup day. Missed customers will be allowed to set out double their normal amount of garbage, recycling and yard waste at no additional charge. Learn more at:

SDOT’s Winter Weather page is available at and includes maps of the City’s snow routes and real-time information on road conditions.

For information on public transportation options, please visit King County Metro ( and Sound Transit ( Riders are encouraged to check bus status online as conditions may change rapidly.

For more information about weather safety tips, and to find out about city facility closures, please go to