Leaves in their fall colors are a pretty sightâ€”until they end up clogging street drains and creating mini-ponds for drivers and pedestrians to navigate.
Local counties and cities are reminding residents to help reduce roadway flooding by keeping storm drains free of leaves.
For instance, in Pierce County, it helps a lot if folks check storm drains near their homes â€œto make sure they arenâ€™t blocked by leaves,â€ said Dennis Hanberg, director of the countyâ€™s Planning and Public Works Department.
- Put leaves and other yard debris in yard waste bins for pickup.
- Remove leaves from storm drains with a rake.
- If a blockage canâ€™t be cleared, the roadway is flooding or a storm drain is on a busy road, call for help. If you live in unincorporated areas of Pierce County or King County, dial 253-798-6000 or 206-477-8100, respectively. If you live in a city, consult its website.
Leaves arenâ€™t the only problem this time of year for roads. Significant rainstorms may cause roadside storm drains and ditches to overflow and flood the roadway. As rain saturates the ground, there is also an increased risk of downed trees and landslides.
Motorists shouldnâ€™t drive through standing water, near downed trees or utility lines, or around road-closure barricades, officials note.