Floods

Flooding is one of the most common hazards in the United States, and can be caused by a wide variety of hazards. In Kirkland, flooding is most likely to occur due to heavy rainfall or other events that overwhelm the City's drainage system. There are steps to take to reduce damage from and even prevent flooding.

To report flooding emergencies, call Public Works at 425-587-3900 (24 hours, 7 days per week).

 Read this flood preparedness message(PDF, 1MB) from the Kirkland Public Works Department to learn about the City's effort to address flood concerns and how you can help! This document was sent to properties in or near areas that experienced flooding in 2020 that was reported to the City.

Prepare Now

Keep leaves and debris out of storm drains to prevent flooding

  • Check storm drain grates and the surrounding area to make sure they are debris-free.
  • Use a rake or shovel to remove debris away from storm drains, ditches, and road. Dispose of leaves in your gray yard waste cart or compost bin.
  • Do not rake or blow leaves from your property into the street or drainage ditch. This can block the flow of water and impact water quality. You could be billed for clean-up by the City if found doing so.
  • Never remove the grate from the storm drain opening. This does not unclog the system creates a hazard.

Keep snow and ice from blocking storm drains

  • Stand on sidewalk or parking strip (out of the road) and use a snow shovel or other tool to clear the snow and ice away. Try to clear a path for the water runoff.
  • Clear your drain only if it is safe to do so.

Other ways to prepare

  • Clear debris and leaves from roof gutters and downspouts.
  • Test your sump pump to make sure it is in good working order before a storm. Consider installing a pump with battery backup in case of power outages.
  • Consider storing sandbags if you have had past flooding. Do not store sandbags with sand inside them, this can wear them out and make them less effective.
  • If your property is at risk of flooding and it is safe to do so, move items in basements and garages to higher ground or raise them off the floor on pallets.
  • Consider purchasing or renewing a flood insurance policy. Homeowner's policies do not cover flooding. Get flood coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program
  • Sign up for King County flood warnings and alerts.

Survive During

  • Turn around, don't drown! Never drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads. It only takes a few inches of water to move vehicles, and water may have weakened the ground underneath the road, even if the street looks solid. Never drive around barricades.
  • Never play in, touch, or drink flood water. Do not allow children or animals to do so. Floodwater can be contaminated or contain dangerous debris.
  • If flooding is severe and you are unable to clear a storm drain, call the 24/7 Public Works hotline at 425-587-3900.

Stay Safe After

  • Return home when it is safe to do so and floodwater has receded. 
  • Be aware of the risk of electrocution in flooded buildings. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off the electricity to the building.
  • Flood water can erode roads or walkways. Be careful when driving or walking in areas that have flooded.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them by calling 9-1-1.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and clean water if you have come into contact with flood waters.
  • Throw away any food that came into contact with flood water.

Resources

Storm & Surface Water
The Stormwater Division of Kirkland Public Works addresses both water quality (pollutants) and water quantity (flood control) problems.

King County Flood Alerts
See current river flood information and sign up for flooding alerts.

King County Floodplain Maps
See 100-year floodplain maps for King County. Areas in a 100-year floodplain have a 1% chance of flooding in any given year.

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
Flood damage is rarely covered under your homeowners or renters insurance policy. Get coverage under the NFIP.

King County Sandbag Program
King County provides sandbag materials to the public free of charge.

King County Metro Transit Flood Service Information
Snow, ice, and flood alerts from King County Metro, including current route delays and changes.

Know Your Hazards