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Heavy Rains Close Bellevue Roadway; City Officials Offer Wet Weather Safety Tips

Bellevue officials urged caution around areas of standing water and local flooding, such as parking lots.

One Bellevue street was closed due to heavy rain and a stalled vehicle, and city officials urged caution around areas of standing water and local flooding, such as parking lots. 

Southeast 7th Place, a two-lane road just east of the Lake Hills Connector and close to the International School, was closed and detoured around 1 p.m. Monday, after heavy rains affected the area throughout the day.

City officials encouraged motorists to drive carefully and asked residents to help keep storm drains clear of debris to prevent further flooding.

"Just take it easy (on the roads) and remember that your visibility is reduced in heavy rains,"  said Bellevue Utilities Department assistant director Joe Harbour.

"The utilities department will continue to have people on staff to monitor and minimize any local flooding," he said.

According to the National Weather Service, areas saw between 1.5 to 3 inches of rainfall on Monday, and while the heavy rains were expected to end by the afternoon, individual streets could continue to see standing water.

Additionally, runoff can trigger landslides, according to the National Weather Service.

The city provided the following preventative measures and safety tips:  

  • If you have a water main break in your home or business, flooding at your home or business, sewer overflows, hazardous road conditions or down or damaged stop or yield signs, please call the Bellevue Utilities Department at this 24-hour emergency number, 425-452-7840.
  • If you need a sump pump, contact rental equipment stores. Supplies usually go fast.
  • During a storm it's normal for streams to rise and fill some parking lots and parks with water. However, do not walk through these flooded areas. Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.
  • If a road is flooded, do not drive through the water, as the water may be deeper than it appears. Never drive past a barricade. If your car stalls in a flooded area, abandon it as soon as possible and walk back to higher ground.
  • Stay off the streets if you can. If you must go out, drive the right speed for the conditions, which could be slippery. Make sure you have warm clothing, water, food, flashlights in the car.
  • To report gas leaks, power outages, and down power lines, please call Puget Sound Energy at 1-888-225-5773.
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. Electrical current can travel through water. If your power goes out, call your power company. In most cases, this is Puget Sound Energy (1-888-225-5773). Do not call 911. That line should be kept clear for life-threatening emergencies, injury car accidents and reports of criminal activity.
  • If you see a downed power line, note its location and call Puget Sound Energy (1-888-225-5773). Stay away from downed lines and anything they may be touching. If the line is arcing or sparking, call 911. Bellevue will close the street or streets to traffic. If the loss of electrical power causes traffic signals to fail, treat intersections as four-way stops. Call Puget Sound Energy (1-888-225-5773), not 911.
  • Do not leave burning candles unattended and keep flammable materials. Keep children and animals away from burning candles. If you need light during a power outage, flashlights are safer than candles.
  • Never use barbecues, hibachis or gas generators inside. Doing so presents a real danger of poisoning from carbon monoxide, a tasteless, odorless gas that can kill.
  • Have a backpack or duffel bag ready in a closet close to the door in case you need to evacuate. Some items to include are bottled water; a first-aid kit; warm, weather-proof clothing; food; a battery-operated radio and extra batteries; a sleeping bag or blankets; and prescription medications.

More information is available on the city's Extreme Weather Alert page at http://www.bellevuewa.gov/extreme_weather_response.htm

Local observations

Readers on the Bellevue Patch Facebook page said their neighborhoods and commutes were affected by local flooding:

Jennifer Harkins Garone: The Bellevue Way exit off 520 was horribly flooded

Rabecca Larson: In our rental house! And all along 148th, beware!

Liz Paige Koch: Stay away from lower Wilburton. It is totally flooded. Once you see the standing water, you are in the middle of it!

Melanie Ness: clearing all the drains on the street for eveyone not sure why they never do...you are welcome...changed my cloths and went back out to clear the beaver dam....fun day....I now have water front but don't tell king county they may start taxing me as such :)

Did you have any local flooding in your neighborhoods? What were your observations from the road? Tell us in the comments.

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