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WINTER WEATHER | Expect high winds, flooding, and possible landslides in Seattle and adjust your travel accordingly! 

Flooding today in South Park. 
Flooding today in South Park. 

As you’ve likely noticed, it’s already quite windy and wet today. 

The National Weather Service has predicted a blustery Tuesday. We are prepared to respond to landslides, downed trees, and traffic signal issues. Our first priority is to keep everyone as safe as possible, and we appreciate you doing your part to limit travel when possible, clear storm drains, check on your neighbors, and stay safe.   

What to know: 

  • The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning in effect from 1 p.m. today, December 27, through 1 a.m. tomorrow, December 28.  
  • We are: 
    • Prepared to respond to landslides, downed trees, and traffic signal issues. Our SDOT Response Team and Maintenance crews are ready to promptly remove debris in the streets, assist stranded travelers, provide emergency traffic control for incidents, respond to issues with traffic signals, and more if safe to do so.
  • You may see: 
    • Downed trees and power lines 
    • Widespread power outages, including some traffic signals without power 
    • Flooding and closed streets (stay tuned to @SDOTtraffic for the latest updates) 
    • Landslides 
  • You should review the detailed safety tips below. If you’re tight on time, remember these important tips: 
    • Avoid being outside around trees and branches. 
    • Be patient and safe. If you need to travel, please go slow, do not walk, bike, or drive through water, and follow all lane closures and detours.   
    • Expect fallen trees, flooding, landslides, power and traffic signal outages to affect commutes and other trips.  
      • CONTACT: If you notice fallen trees or other debris blocking streets or sidewalks, contact SDOT at (206) 684-ROAD [7623]. 
    • If you see a blocked gutter, please help clear the leaves and debris if you’re able to, to keep the 80,000 storm drains throughout our city flowing smoothly and to help prevent flooding. 
      • CONTACT: Please report flooding issues to Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) at (206) 386-1800.  
    • If you notice a downed power line, DO NOT touch or approach it.  
      • CONTACT: Please report downed wires by calling 911 immediately. To report a power outage to Seattle City Light (SCL) at (206) 684-3000.   
    • When traffic signal lights are out, treat the intersection as a 4-way stop.  

Stay up to date: 

In January of this year, we experienced landslides. Here is a landslide at 17th Ave S & S Walker St. 

Detailed Safety Tips: 

Here is a compilation of more detailed tips for staying safe while driving, navigating floods, encountering landslides, and during power outages. Please remember that these do not represent all of the steps you should follow to keep yourself safe. 


If you must get behind the wheel during the storm: 

  • Be cautious and alert while driving. If you need to drive to leave a dangerous area, proceed with caution. Beware of potential flooded streets, collapsed pavement, fallen debris, and washed-out bridges. DO NOT cross flooded areas – instead, turn around and try to find an alternative route. 
  • Turn on your headlights. Rainy conditions can cause low visibility: Turn on your headlights to help you see better and to allow other motorists to spot you better. Avoid using your high beams because you could blind other drivers and the extra light will reflect off the rain, causing more of a distraction for you. 
  • Drive a safe distance. If you can’t see the edges of the road or other vehicles at a safe distance while driving during wet weather, pull off the road as far as you can and wait for the rain to ease up. Make sure to turn on emergency flashers to alert other drivers. 
  • Avoid standing water and flooded roads at all times. There is no way to tell how deep standing water is on a flooded road and driving through it can cause a vehicle to stall and result in severe damage to the vehicle.  
    • Never drive around barricades (high water and road closed signs).  
    • 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 your vehicle stalls in a flooded area, do not remain in the car. Abandon it as soon as possible and seek higher ground. Flood waters can elevate quickly, sweeping away the vehicle and its occupants. 
  • Slow Down, Move Over, Be Safe when driving past our SDOT Response Team. Our SDOT Response Team is out on the streets promptly removing debris in the streets, assisting stranded travelers, providing emergency traffic control for incidents and responding to issues with traffic signals, and more. 


  • Stay at least 30 feet away from any downed power line whether it is sparking or not. Even a dormant looking power line came be energized.   
  • Any downed lines, trees or limbs making contact with power lines, or dangerously leaning or fallen poles, should be reported to 911 immediately. Do not attempt to clear these yourself. 
  • 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.  
  • 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.    
  • Notice a fallen tree or other debris blocking streets or sidewalks? Our crews are prepared. Contact SDOT at 206-684-ROAD [7623]. 


If you find yourself in a landslide, you may have only seconds to act. Here’s what to do: 

  • Stay alert and awake. Many debris-flow fatalities occur when people are sleeping. Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio, a portable, battery-powered radio or television for warnings of intense rainfall. Be aware that intense, short bursts of rain may be particularly dangerous, especially after longer periods of heavy rainfall and damp weather. 
  • Go higher. If you are unable to evacuate, move to an upper level of your home and stay alert while you listen to a NOAA weather radio, portable battery-radio or television. 
  • Watch for flowing water. If you are in your vehicle, stay alert and watch for flowing water, which can be a precursor to a landslide.  
  • Listen. If you are walking or hiking, listen for sounds that might indicate a landslide, including boulders knocking together or trees crackling. You are generally safer away from slopes, so move to higher ground if needed. 
  • More landslide safety tips:  


  • Never use gas grills, charcoal grills, or BBQs inside the home or in a garage. The exhaust fumes are deadly in enclosed spaces. Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home to avoid illness or even death from carbon monoxide poisoning.  
  • Use caution when operating generators as a back-up power source. Always use portable generators outside in well-ventilated areas at least 20 feet away from doors or windows.