Bellevue's streams, lakes, wetlands, flood detention sites, pipes and ditches make up the city's drainage system and are designed to hold water during storms to prevent flooding. When intense storms hit and overwhelm the system, flooding can occur.
To prepare for heavy rains and prevent flooding:
- See our pictogram illustrating flood preparedness (available in 15 languages).
- Clear storm drains of leaves and debris. Most street flooding is caused by clogged storm drain grates. City employees clear storm drains, but it's hard to get to all 20,000 public drains. We appreciate your help.
- Install a sump pump; if you already own a pump, test it now.
- Do not block water flow by dumping trash or yard debris into streams, wetlands or drainage ditches.
- Leave natural vegetation on steep slopes and along streams and lakes. Plants slow stormwater runoff and help prevent erosion.
- To find out if your house is in a floodplain, consult the floodplain map.
- Know how to shut off your electricity, gas and water at main switches and valves. You may need to shut off these utilities if your home floods. For information on gas and electric shutoff procedures, call Puget Sound Energy at 1-888-225-5773. If you need help locating your main water shut off valve, call Bellevue Utilities at 425-452-7840.
- Clean gutters and downspouts at your home several times a year and direct flows away from your home. Contact Bellevue Utilities if you need advice about a drainage problem. See Drainage Around Your Home for more information.
- Have an emergency kit prepared ahead of time in case you need to evacuate your home.
During heavy rains:
- Call 911 for life-threatening emergencies. Call Bellevue Utilities at 425-452-7840 if your home or office is in danger of flooding. --- Unplug all electrical appliances and turn off gas at the meter. Move valuables to higher floors.
- Do not attempt to drive through standing water. Even a small amount of water can stall your car. If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.
- Stay away from fallen power lines and electrical wires. Assume any downed power line is an energized power line.
- See general flood information at King County.
If your property floods:
- When reentering your home, use a flashlight. Do not use candles in case of a gas leak.
- Turn off power at the circuit breaker for areas that have flooded. If the circuit breaker is wet, contact Puget Sound Energy at 1-888-225-5773.
- Check for structural damage and beware of gas leaks, electric shorts and live wires.
- See King County's information on how to clean up after a flood.
- Call your insurance agent for information on flood claims.