Author Archive: jickcoem

Executive Constantine signs emergency proclamation in response to storm

In response to severe flooding, landslides, and other damage from days of heavy rain and mountain snow, King County Executive Dow Constantine signed a Local Proclamation of Emergency this afternoon to help county staff continue to respond quickly to the dangerous weather situation.

The proclamation allows a waiver from standard procurement procedures to speed up response and turnaround times for departments that need to make repairs or do other work to King County equipment and facilities.

Staff from Emergency Management, Road Services, Natural Resources and Parks, and other county agencies have been working long shifts to close dangerously flooded roads, clear landslide debris, monitor levees and other flood control facilities, and coordinate with cities and the state as weather conditions deteriorate.

King County Emergency Management activated its Emergency Operations Center on a 24-hour schedule to provide regional coordination of resources and information. Flood patrol crews are also on duty as they continue visual checks of levees and other flood control structures throughout the region.

Heavy rain continues to fall in the lowlands, while snow is expected in the upper elevations of eastern King County Friday and Saturday. The severe flooding situation is not expected to ease until well into next week. For information about the regional response to this storm, visit KCEmergency.com. The King County Flood Warning Center can be reached at 206-296-8200 or 1-800-945-9263 (TTY relay 711).

Flooding risk continues to grow

Flooding along the Cedar River continues to increase to levels that have not been experienced since 2009. Residents from Renton to Landsburg, and travelers through the valley corridor, should prepare for rising waters to overtop major arterials and sole access roads. This will cut off access to neighborhoods throughout the valley. Expect fast and deep flows which will create dangerous conditions throughout the floodplain.

Do not walk or drive through closed roadways or standing water. Stay off the roads if possible. Follow My Commute to monitor King County road closures and WSDOT Travel Alerts for state route closures.

Free sandbag materials are available 24/7 at the King County Roads facility, 20827 SE Auburn-Black Diamond Rd. in Black Diamond. Limit 25 bags per vehicle. Empty sandbags and sand are available. Shovels are not provided. For a complete list of distribution locations, go to kingcounty.gov/flood.

If you are unable to safely leave your home or a building due to rapidly rising waters, call 9-1-1 for help. Then move to a higher floor or to the roof. Take warm, weatherproof clothing, a flashlight, a mobile phone and a portable radio. Please reach out to neighbors who may not have access to social media or automatic alerts, or who may need assistance with evacuation in the event of a neighborhood being cut off.

Many roads are restricted or closed in the region due to rising water. Stay alert to changing conditions, and never drive around barricades.

  • Closed: State Route 169 from 196th Avenue SE to SE 231st Street
  • Closed: State Route 900 eastbound and westbound from Talus Drive to SE May Valley Road

Other roads in King County are at risk of closing. They include:

  • Byers Road SE off Cedar Grove Road (could cut off access to SE 184th Street, SE 183rd Street, 216th Avenue SE, and 215th Avenue SE)
  • 218th Place SE (aka Pebble Beach Road), off of State Route 169
  • SE 214th Street off of State Route 169
  • SE Bain Road, off of State Route 169
  • Dorre Don Way SE, off of 216th Avenue SE

Check My Commute frequently for current status of King County roads, and WSDOT Travel Alerts for state route closures.

Be ready to protect your health if it floods.

  • Minimize the risk of chemical contamination. Check product labels on automotive products, cleaners, fuels, weed killer, and other household chemicals. If they say Caution, Warning, Danger, or Poison, store them up high, above possible flood levels.
  • Do not allow children to play or wade in flood water.
  • Clean surfaces that may have been contaminated by flood water. Wear close-fitting gloves, eye protection, and boots. Clean first with soap and water, then use a mix of one teaspoon bleach to one gallon of water to disinfect.

More information on flood health risks is available here.

For more information about King County’s Flood Services go to kingcounty.gov/flood, or call the King County Flood Warning Center at 206-296-8200 or 1-800-945-9263 (TTY Relay 711). Servicios de intérprete están disponible bajo solicitud.

Floods swamp King County, landslides also a threat

Wet winter weather won’t wane across the Puget Sound region. Days of heavy rain have filled area rivers, sending them over their banks. With the rain expected to persist, the National Weather Service in Seattle has issued flood warnings for the next several days.

The King County Flood Warning Center anticipates flooding may occur in areas along the Cedar, Green, and White rivers at levels that haven’t been seen in many years. The Tolt and Snoqualmie rivers are also rising, as is Issaquah Creek. For the latest flood phase information, visit kingcounty.gov/flood.

  • Do not drive, wade, or walk through flooded areas. Watch for road closures, and never drive around barricades. Turn around, don’t drown. Check kingcounty.gov/MyCommute for road closure information.
  • If your vehicle stalls in a flooded area, abandon it and walk back the way you came.
  • Keep street drains, storm grates, and flap gates clear of leaves and other debris. Call 206-477-8100 if you need assistance.
  • Use sandbags to protect your home or property.
  • Be prepared to evacuate immediately if an order is issued.

Landslides are also an increasing threat as hillsides become saturated with water. Learn the signs of an impending landslide:

  • Bulging ground at the base of a slope
  • Outside walls, walkways, or stairs pulling away from structures
  • Widening cracks in the ground or on paved areas such as streets or driveways
  • New cracks appearing in plaster, tile, brick, or foundations
  • Water breaking through the ground in new locations
  • Fences, retaining walls, utility poles, or trees tilting or moving

Visit kingcounty.gov/landslide for more information about this hazard.

King County agencies are actively monitoring the weather situation, and are prepared to respond. The governor’s office has also issued an emergency proclamation for 19 counties in Washington including King County, making state resources and assistance available to local jurisdictions. Watch the following for the latest information: