Potential flash flood concerns due to ongoing rain

As the rain continues to fuel flash-flood concerns around our area, KIRO7 looked into how first responders and residents are preparing.

“If you are in a flood-prone area, be prepared beforehand just like you would before any other natural emergency situation,” said Jordan Simmonds, battalion chief for Eastside Fire and Rescue.

After a summer of sunshine and dry weather, western Washington is finally getting some much needed rain, but officials say too much rain too fast could lead to floods and/or debris flow, especially in areas hit hard by drought and recent wildfires.

The National Weather Service says half an inch of rainfall in less than an hour can be enough to cause flash flooding in a burn area.

“We do have water-trained rescuers, so we have boat crews, we have people that are trained in swift-water rescue. We typically do a number of rescues when these types of incidents occur,” said Simmonds.

Officials say there are a number of things homeowners can do to prevent flooding.

“As far as things around the house: cleaning out gutters, cleaning out catch basins, any sort of drainage ditches that are on your property or in adjacent streets. The City Public Works and County Public Works, they try their best to stay on top of that stuff, but there’s a lot to cover,” said Simmonds.

Residents tell KIRO7 they’re ready to wait out the storm.

“We probably wouldn’t. We wouldn’t try to get out,” said John Wright and Shirley Della Maddalena, who live in Issaquah.

People in flood-prone areas say they’re already stocked up.

“Yeah we have, kind of have, an emergency kit just in case,” said Ben Hawkins, who lives in Issaquah.

“We got food storage you know so, and we’ll be OK,” said Maddalena.