Find Posts By Topic

It’s not over yet – more freezing temperature on the way! Please clear storm drains.

Hey everybody, meet Daryl. He shoveled his walkway and sidewalks for his family and his neighbors and then went on to shovel his other neighbor’s sidewalk.

We can’t say it enough.

Did you think we were going to say please shovel your walkways and sidewalks? Well, you’re wwrrrooong….right!? Well, first we wanted to give Seattle a giant-sized snowball-snowcone worth of a humungous thank you for helping the snow response effort by shoveling and clearing the snow and ice off your walkways and sidewalks (and storm drains). But there were some of you who literally kept on shoveling to help a neighbor. You all are just wonderful people, Seattle!


– A little “quote” from Forrest Gump (If he lived in Seattle during the great February 2019 snowstorm.)


I just kept on shoveling.

That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run sidewalk snow shoveling. So I ran shoveled to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run shovel to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d just run shovel across Greenbow King County. And I figured, since I run shoveled this far, maybe I’d just run shovel across the great state of Alabama Washington. And that’s what I did. I ran shoveled clear across Alabama Washington. For no particular reason I just kept on going. 




People helping people.

As Vince Vaughn once said, “Everyone wants to be a part of a miracle – people helping people. It’s powerful stuff.” We heard of neighbors walking dogs or feeding pets for those who couldn’t get outside. We heard of neighbors shoveling their neighbors’ sidewalks. And we heard of neighbors working together to exchange equipment from snow shovels to sleds.  

Your hard work is making it safe for your neighbors to get around in the snow.


It’s not over yet – more winter weather is on the way.  

While temperatures have risen and the snow has started to melt (hooray!), there’s more winter weather on its way, which means more work is ahead of us.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning through this evening, as excessive runoff from the combined rain and melting snow will cause some flooding of small creeks, streams, urban areas, streets, and underpasses as well as other drainage areas and low lying spots.


Temperatures may drop below freezing tonight. This could create icy conditions for Thursday morning’s commute, which is going to make all travel extremely challenging and hazardous. 


Check out the National Weather Service’s full prediction.  


We need your help.  

The great meltdown of 2019 has started! All that snow is turning into a lot of liquid on our streets and sidewalks. The water that collects on our streets flow into storm drains like the one above to help keep neighborhoods from flooding. We’re doing our best to clear storm drains but we need your help to locate and clear your neighborhood storm drains so they’re unblocked so that water can get its flow on and be freed into the drains and prevent ice from forming on the roadway. 

Seattle Public Utilities’ drainage crews work hard to maintain all of the City’s drainage infrastructure, including storm drains on streets. But with tens of thousands of drains spread all across the City, we need your help too.  


Please help prevent urban flooding by clearing nearby storm drains. Your help is critical. 


This is how you do it.

If you can safely do so, use a shovel, rake, or broom to move snow, slush, and other debris off of the top of the storm drain. Keep any accumulation about one foot away from the curb, as this helps prevent ponds or puddles of water from forming and allows water to flow into the drain.  

Read more information on tips to reduce flooding, including more info on the City of Seattle’s drainage system, on Seattle Public Utilities’ webpage here! 


Besides keeping our storm drains clear, here’re a few other reasons why shoveling is important.  


  • Safety! Shoveling prevents ice and keeps people from falling. 
  • Accessibility for people with disabilities. People who need wheelchairs and mobility devices to get around may have a much harder time traveling across slippery sidewalks and using ramps. Let’s make sure everyone can get where they need to go. 
  • It’s the law. Sidewalks and driveways are the responsibility of the adjacent property owner to maintain and clear.  


It’s time to get creative.  

Use what you’ve got.

Don’t have a snow shovel? Lots of household items can substitute! One super smart SDOTTER used a baking pan to shovel the sidewalks in front of his house.


Put the kids to work.

Have kids? Get the kids outside while there’s no school and have them help play!  Weee!! Shoveling is so much fun!


Spread the word.

Have a neighborhood Facebook group, NextDoor community, or email listserv? That’s the perfect place to spread the word about the need to shovel, exchange equipment, or best yet…organize a snow shoveling block party! You can also organize a neighborhood outing to shovel walkways, check on vulnerable neighbors, and make sure pets are safe and warm. 


Getting through all this snow and ice takes a village city.

This means we all need to help each other. Lend a hand to your neighbors and to our crews and take the time to clear your sidewalks and storm drain.  Thanks for all your help, Seattle!

We’re all in this together.