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City of Everett News

Posted on: September 29, 2023

Public Works offers tips to prepare for fall storms

City of Everett work truck with lights on, street covered in leaves, heavy machinery on street

EVERETT, Wash. – With the return of fall weather, City of Everett Public Works offers tips to help community members prepare for and minimize damage from heavy seasonal storms that can cause flooding. 

What to do now or before a storm  

  • Identify nearby trees that might fall in a windstorm. If possible, take action to remove them. A professional arborist can help you determine if a tree is likely to fall.  
  • Avoid piling yard waste like fallen leaves and sticks in your yard, on the sidewalk or in the street where it could wash into City drains. Collect it in a yard waste bin or other container.  
  • Use a rake or broom to remove leaves and debris from the grates of storm drain catch basins and inlets. Place the collected material in your yard waste bin or other container.  
  • Consider reaching out to neighbors who might need help with their yard. 
  • Extend downspouts at least four feet away from your home’s foundation. Do not connect downspouts to your side sewer or direct the flow to sidewalks. 
  • If you have a backwater valve, check to make sure it is working and seated properly. View the City’s backwater valve maintenance video
  • Watch the City of Everett fall stormwater tips video

What to do during a storm 

  • If an inlet or catch basin grate appears to be blocked by debris, try to safely clear a channel to provide a path for the runoff. 
  • If you have a backwater valve and there has been heavy rainfall in a short period of time, wait 10-15 minutes after the rain subsides before using water fixtures (toilets, dishwashers, sinks, showers, washing machines, etc.) in your home. This lets the water drain and reduces the chance of flooding.  
  • If you are concerned about controlling runoff into your property, sandbags may help. Bring your own shovel to one of the free self-service sandbag locations, located at 4015 Railway Avenue and 11221 Silver Lake Road. 
  • To report water, sewer, or other storm related problems, call the City of Everett’s 24-hour dispatch at 425-257-8821. 

What to do if your basement floods 

  • First and foremost, mitigate and protect your property. 
  • Call Public Works 24-hour dispatch at 425-257-8821. 
  • Carefully document the site by taking photographs and itemizing all items to provide a complete description of everything. 
  • Remove all wet items, including the carpet if necessary.  
  • Get the area dried out before odors and/or mold becomes an issue.   
  • The City recommends hiring a professional cleaning company to clean and disinfect. If you choose to do it yourself, please see the Department of Health’s fact sheet on cleaning a basement.  
  • If you believe the City of Everett is at fault for your basement flooding, you can file a claim for damages.   


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