EVERETT, WA – With rains and windy weather in the forecast, City of Everett Public Works crews are busy cleaning streets, inspecting and cleaning catch basins and sewer manholes, and there are a number of things community members can do to minimize storm damage. Everett Public Works offers tips to help residents prepare for and minimize storm damage.
What to do now, before the storm:
- Identify nearby trees that might fall in a windstorm. If possible, take action to remove them.
- Avoid piling yard waste like fallen leaves and sticks in your yard, on the sidewalk or in the street where it could wash into City drains. Keep it in a yard waste bin or other container.
- Use a rake or broom to remove leaves and debris from the grates of storm drain catch basins and inlets, and then place the material in your yard waste cart.
- Extend downspouts away from your home. Do not connect downspouts to your side sewer.
- If you have a backwater valve, check to make sure it is working and seated properly. View the City’s backwater valve maintenance video.
- Watch the City of Everett fall stormwater tips video.
What to do during a storm:
- If an inlet or catch basin grate appears to be blocked by debris, try to safely clear a channel to provide a path for the runoff.
- If you have a backwater valve and there has been intense rainfall in a short period of time, wait 10-15 minutes after the rain subsides before using water fixtures (toilets, dishwashers, sinks, showers, washing machines) in your home. This allows higher water volumes to dissipate.
- If you are concerned about controlling runoff into your property, sandbags may help. Bring your own shovel to one of the free self-service sandbag locations at 4015 Railway Ave. and 11221 Silver Lake Road, near Silver Lake Park, across from Fire Station #7.
- To report water, sewer or other storm-related problems, call the City of Everett 24-hour dispatch at 425-257-8821.
What to do if your basement floods:
- First and foremost, mitigate and protect your property.
- Call Public Works Dispatch at 425-257-8821.
- Carefully document the site by taking photographs and itemizing all items to provide a complete description of everything.
- Remove all wet items, including the carpet if necessary.
- Get the area dried out before odors and/or mold becomes an issue.
- The City recommends hiring a professional cleaning company to clean and disinfect. If you choose to do it yourself, please see the Department of Health’s fact sheet on cleaning a basement.
- If you believe the City of Everett is at fault for your basement flooding, you can file a claim for damages.
September flooding events
The back-to-back Everett rain events on Sept. 9, 2019 are examples of localized microburst weather events that can overwhelm the capacity of Everett’s stormwater pipes, resulting in isolated street flooding. Recent Everett Public Works projects like the Sewer M, Alverson and North Wetmore Stormwater Separation projects and the Legion Golf Course Stormwater Detention project were all part of an effort to reduce impacts from intense storms. While all of these improvements help, no storm drainage system can be expected to handle all extreme events without backup or overflow.
The newly installed Grand Avenue Park Bridge is specifically designed to convey wet weather flows off the bluff to both combined sewer and stormwater outfalls that act as relief points during extreme wet weather events. The large combined sewer and stormwater outfall pipes already under the bridge are expected to improve the City’s stormwater drainage capacity once they are connected to the system, which is expected by spring 2020. While the bridge will improve Everett’s storm drainage, it would not have completely alleviated the Sept. 9 stormwater flooding due to the historic intensity of the rainfall during these two events.
Learn more about Everett Public Works stormwater projects and how to prepare for stormy weather at everettwa.gov/publicworks.