Be flood-savvy this winter

Flooding is the most prevalent natural hazard facing Washington residents. Pierce County recently released a list of flooding resources and information to keep in mind as flood season goes into full flow.

To report flooding 24/7 on roadways, call (253) 798-6000.
Pierce County Flood Information Hotline (recording with flood updates) and to report all other flooding problems: (253) 798-4274.
Visit the Pierce County flooding website for continuous flood alerts.

Prevent street flooding by cleaning up leaves. If it's safe to do so, rake leaves off storm drains in your neighborhood to avoid clogging.

Residents living near river and floodplains and other flood-prone areas are encouraged to watch the latest forecasts on flooding potential.

If it does flood, there are several health concerns to keep in mind. Floodwaters can be dangerous, so do not try to walk or drive through them. If you come into contact with floodwaters, wash your hands with soap and clean water to avoid bacteria. After the floodwaters recede, clean up wearing gloves and boots. Wash all clothes and linens in hot water and discard mattresses or stuff furniture that had contact with floodwaters.

Food that had contact with floodwaters is not safe to eat and should be discarded, although canned food is safe if the cans are thoroughly washed. If your well is flooded, your tap water is probably unsafe for use. If you have public water, the Health Department will let you know when your water is safe to drink. Septic systems do not function when there is standing water on the ground around it, so should not be used until the soil has dried. For more information about health issues related to floods, please visit the health department website.

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