Photo by Zachariah Bryan
Street drains clogged by fallen leaves is the cause for much urban flooding. It just takes a second to bend down and clear them out.

Heavy rains hit Seattle

No surprise if you're awake (which, if you're reading this, you probably are) -- it's raining. A lot. And it will for the rest of the week.

As of 10:45 a.m., 1.29 inches of rain have fallen at NOAA facility at Sand Point on Lake Washington. 1.43 inches of rain fell at Seatac.

Lowland areas of Western Washington could see 2.5 inches of rain Monday, and Mountain areas could get up to 5 inches, according to a weather statement issued at 4 a.m. today.

According to the Seattle Times: "A brief respite from the rain is likely early on Tuesday before another system moves in, with rain continuing through Wednesday morning. Thanksgiving Day could bring another break, with showers instead of steady rain. By Thursday evening, the rain should be back, Mass said."

Commuters, if this morning has been any indication, should expect for slow, careful driving throughout the week. It's important to not take any chances when roads are slick and slippery like this, and when puddles can cause hydro-planing.

Because heavy rains such as this often brings with it urban flooding, Seattle Public Utilities is encouraging people to "adopt a drain." Storm drains can quickly become clogged with all of the fallen leaves and debris in autumn, causing much of the overflowed roads that you often see during deluges such as this.

It's as easy as just picking up the leaves and moving them away from the drain. (Ballard News-Tribune's reporter cleared a few clogged drains this morning and it takes just a couple seconds.)

In Seattle, there are about 80,000 storm drains. Unsurprisingly, there are not nearly that many people working for SPU, so it's far more than city crews can clear quickly.

SPU is also encouraging residents to maintain gutters, downspouts, rain barrels, and private culverts by keeping them clean and directing their flow away from properties and hillsides.

In Seattle, the number for reporting any flooding issues is 206-386-1800.

National Weather Service River Forecast Center has put out flood warnings at a number of locations. While Seattle isn't included, if you're driving somewhere this week (i.e., for thanksgiving), then you may want to double-check for any flooding problems. You can check here.

North Cascade Highway will be closed at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 19, possibly for the winter.

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