Flooding Aftermath

City of Seattle FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10/20/2003
SEATTLE - Tuesday morning commuters should drive carefully, cautions Seattle Department of Transportation Director Grace Crunican. Even if the rain tapers off, residual flooding can cause closed streets, stalled cars, back ups and increased congestion. Additionally, heavy winds may cause traffic signals to go "dark" or into flash mode. "With record rainfalls, drivers need to leave extra time for their commute to adjust for any potential obstacles," Crunican advises. "As you drive into work, watch your speed and allow enough space between you and the car ahead." In optimum driving conditions, a good guideline is the 'two-second rule' - that is, when the vehicle ahead of you passes a fixed object, count 'one thousand and one, one thousand and two'. If you have reached the fixed object before 'two', your are following too closely. In rainy conditions, drivers should add another second to ensure a safe following distance. Bicyclists should also ride with caution and avoid getting too close to cars. Additionally, drivers should be aware that wet leaves and debris can reduce traction. Wet leaf-strewn areas can pose a challenge for cars long after the rain stops. Additionally, if drivers encounter an intersection with a dark or flashing signal, they should treat the intersection as an all-way stop. Yesterday, the Seattle Department of Transportation closed 35th Ave. NE, between NE 105th and NE 107th Streets near Meadowbrook due to excess flooding. Additionally, a "washout" occurred on Seola Beach Drive in West Seattle. Additional inermittent closures may be necessary if conditions worsen. As soon as the standing water recedes and hazards are eliminated, SDOT will re-open closed streets. Problems on Seattle city streets can be reported to SDOT by calling 684-ROAD or 386-1218. Sewer back-ups or residential flooding concerns should be reported to Seattle Public Utilities at 684-3355 [View City of Seattle News Release]