Heads up, travelers: Heavy rains, melting snow, and high winds are causing traffic disruptions across Seattle

A tree fell across Highland Park Way SW and powerlines in West Seattle today, closing the street to all traffic. The SDOT response team is working to clear the fallen tree. Photo Credit: SDOT. 

Due to melting snow and heavy rain, we’re responding to flooding, landslides, downed trees, and power outages throughout Seattle, including West Seattle and South Park on the West Seattle Bridge detour routes.  

Look for fallen trees, flooding, landslides, power and traffic signal outages to affect commutes now through the weekend as we respond and clean up. Be safe out there. 

Street closures include, but are not limited to, some major routes: 

  • Highland Park Way from SW Holden St to West Marginal Way SW 
  • Burke-Gilman Trail from NE 125th St to 42nd Pl NE 

See the SDOT Travelers Map for the latest street and bridge closures, including closures on bridge detour routes. There are also live camera feeds to monitor conditions. The map is available at https://web6.seattle.gov/travelers

For regular updates and more information, follow our Twitter feed, visit the Seattle Public Utilities flooding response webpage, or visit the Seattle City Light Power outages webpage.  

Please keep these safety reminders in mind: 

  • If you need to travel today, please go slow, do not walk or drive through water, and follow any lane closures or detours in place. 
  • Treat intersections without power as a four-way stop. Come to a full stop and take turns going through the intersection, keeping an eye out for pedestrians and cyclists to ensure everyone can get to where they’re going safely.   
  • Be aware of your surroundings when walking, cycling, rolling, or driving. Major winds can cause outages and falling trees impacting traffic signals. Please travel slow and keep alert!  
  • With rain and melted snow over the past few days, keep your neighborhood safe and accessible for all. If a drain is blocked, clearing a clogged gutter will reduce rainwater buildup that otherwise causes flooding.   
  • Remember to stay away from downed power lines. If you do encounter downed power lines, call SCL at 206-684-3000. Check for branches that are cracked or brushing against power lines in your neighborhood, if you find any, contact their vegetation management.  
  • Notice a fallen tree or other debris blocking streets or sidewalks? Our Crews are ready to go. Contact our 24-hour dispatch Crews at 206-386-1218. 

If you see high water or a road closed: 

  • Avoid still water and flooded roads at all times. There is no way to tell how deep still water is on a flooded road and driving through it is not advised. Flooded roads can cause a vehicle to stall and result in severe damage to the vehicle from: 
    • Flooding the engine 
    • Loss of braking capabilities 
    • Loss of steering capabilities 
    • Short in electrical components 
  • Never drive around barricades (high water and road closed signs). 
  • If caught on a flooded road with rapidly rising waters, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.  
  • Avoid any contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with harmful chemicals and debris that are not visible from the surface. 
  • Stay out of areas subject to flooding. Underpasses, dips, low spots, etc. can become rapidly filled with water 

If you can, please clear your neighborhood storm drains! 

All that snow from last week 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 below 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!   

Thank you for your help keeping Seattle moving during winter weather. Our first priority is to keep everyone as safe as possible, and we appreciate you doing your part to limit travel, clear storm drains, check on your neighbors, and more.