Prepare for Flooding

Water is a good thing, but too much of a good thing can cause problems. In developed areas such as the City of Kirkland, there are many hard surfaces such as roadways and rooftops that do not allow water to soak into the ground. Too much water running over hard surfaces can lead to drainage and flooding problems, as well as stream channel damage and water quality problems.

How to Help Reduce Flooding in Your Neighborhood

Clear leaves and debris from storm drains and gutters

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Leaves and other debris can block rainwater from flowing into storm drains and cause local flooding. City crews sweep streets to keep drains clear, but with more than 17,000 stormdrains in Kirkland, we need your help!

  • Check storm drains and surrounding area to make sure they are debris-free. 
  • Use a rake to remove debris from the storm drain and road. See below for what to do with leaves. 
  • Do not rake or blow leaves from your property into the street. You could be billed for clean-up by the City if found doing so

Call Kirkland Public Works at 425-587-3900 if flooding is severe and you are unable to clear the drain. 

What to do with fall leaves?

Compost in Your Gray Yard Waste Cart. Each house can put out five free yard waste extras per week in November. In October you can put out extra leaves for $6.85 tax per 32-gallon bag. You can also order a second 96-gallon yard waste cart for $22.06 tax per month — call Waste Management at425-587-0040 or 1-800-592-9995. Learn more about composting in Kirkland

Feed Your Lawn. When leaves fall onto your lawn, mow over them. Use a mulching mower or lawnmower at its highest cutting height. Leaves are shredded into smaller pieces, allowing them to break down into the lawn. This will improve soil structure so that it retains more moisture. Learn more about Natural Yard Care

Use for Mulch. Rake leaves directly into your garden beds and around trees. Leave some space around shrub stems and tree trunks for airflow. Your plants and soil will benefit from the protection the leaves provide, and the organic matter returned via their decomposition.

Compost in Your Yard. Dried leaves provide the carbon-rich “brown” material needed for composting. When added to nitrogen-rich “green” material, like grass clippings, they create rich compost that bolsters soil fertility. Speed decomposition by mowing over leaves first.


Prepare Your Property's Drainage System

Clean gutters

  • Inspect and maintain any drainage structures, including roof gutters and downspouts on your property. Check to make sure no debris is blocking your drainage system and water can flow freely. Learn how to manage drainage on your property
  • If you have a sump pump, test it before a storm to make sure it is in good working order. Consider installing a pump with a battery backup in case of outages. 
  • If you have a flood-prone property, keep a supply of sandbags on hand. City of Kirkland hosts pop-up sandbag filling stations before large storm events.Information will be posted prior to the opening of these pop-up stations.

Learn More

Learn more about preparing for, surviving during, and staying safe after flooding events by visiting the City of Kirkland Emergency Management Flooding page.