West Seattle weather: Flood watch, landslide risk as rain continues

March 8, 2014 at 6:05 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 11 Comments

How rainy is it? In the late afternoon, West Seattle-based environmental advocate “Diver Laura” James – whose specialties include stormwater-runoff education – caught these maxed-out sewer covers at the east dead-end of Yancy between West Seattle Athletic Club and Longfellow Creek (map).

The National Weather Service has two alerts out for our area – a Special Weather Statement that warns the rain “has led to an increased threat of landslides in Western Washington … The threat will increase tonight into midday Sunday as heavy rain affects the area. Several inches of rain over the past several days has increased soil moisture to high levels across Western Washington,” and a Flood Watch that speaks for itself. Here, by the way, is the runoff’s outfall to Longfellow, as noted by Laura:

To find out how to minimize the toxicity of what’s in runoff water, check out tox-ick.org. You can also check this real-time map to see which marked outfalls have combined-sewer overflows happening right now, the same kind of overflows that city and county projects under way now are aiming to reduce.

P.S. The NWS says the official gauge at Sea-Tac has collected almost four inches of rain in the first week of March – ending yesterday.

11 Comments

  1. Thanks for the video feeds and I just chime in how satisfying it was to spend a couple hours this morning ,before the heavy rains, picking up trash with the organized community effort of the admiral neighborhood association. When I returned with my own rescued trash volunteers had already had two to three large plastic bags full of debris at Metropolitan Market ,where the event HQ was. I would imagine the majority of that trash would have added to blocking the sewer system and or it eventual journey into the sound and from there …… . It takes ,I believe, a certain amount of character and class in an individual to give a heck and pick up trash.

    Comment by NW — 6:28 pm March 8, 2014 #

  2. Yay, NW! And ANA. I wish the trash hadn’t been tossed aside, requiring others to clean it up, in the first place, but thank you for caring and taking action.

    Comment by WSB — 6:32 pm March 8, 2014 #

  3. Thanks WSB for the compliment and I like to believe a good majority gets tossed about in the garage collection vehicles as they go about their work than from my fellow community members. The cigarette butts of course ….. .

    Comment by NW — 7:57 pm March 8, 2014 #

  4. Thank you WSB and NW and Admiralty Neighborhood Association!

    NW, I think its a combination of things… a porous trash collection system (not really designed to control the small stuff) cigarette butts that could be helped by having more outdoor butt collection stations (we tell people they can’t smoke indoors – where there were ash trays, but don’t give them anywhere to dispose of their butts outside) and our own ‘stuff that got away’ i.e. the pen cap that fell from a pocket, receipt that gets blown out of a grocery bag, etc…

    As i say in the tox-ick monster presentation, it will take each and every one of us, bending over and picking up a couple items of litter each day…

    ANA and NW did a great thing today, way to lead by example!!!!

    The critters in Puget Sound I’m SURE thank you too, not having to live in a world of underwater trash is a good thing :) And I thank you personally, because it means I can spend less time videoing the underwater garbage patch, dirty storm drains and then picking it up underwater and more time shooting images of pretty critter to share with everyone :)

    Comment by diverlaura — 8:58 pm March 8, 2014 #

  5. and…not to forget…Every day, Monday thru Friday, there are, sadly, teenagers who swarm the Admiral neighborhood for lunch and after school. And they have no problem getting take out food, and tossing wrappers, soda cups, milk cartons, etc, in the neighborhoods, in the bushes, on the ground. I live part way between the school and Jack in the Box/ Met Mkt/Safeway, and I have witnessed them doing it on quite a few occasions :(.

    Thanks for the work done in the neighborhood this morning.

    Comment by JanS — 9:23 pm March 8, 2014 #

  6. People used to put their trash in Plastic grocery bags to secure it. Now they just throw it in the garbage cans and dumpsters loosely, When the truck lifts the dumpster the trash flies away. I am involved in this type of work and I have seen a significant increase in trash on the streets.

    Comment by WSPS — 9:27 pm March 8, 2014 #

  7. JanS, and anyone else who has connections…

    Help me with contacts in the schools, I will go in and give as many presentations as it takes about Stormwater and the Garbage Patch that is growing off our beach, Alki beach, about how our trash goes from their hands into our sound, and I’ll do what I can to help convince them to stop littering and maybe even harness their teen-energy into cleaning up and doing good stuff :)

    Comment by diverlaura — 12:55 am March 9, 2014 #

  8. On that thread dl I would like to suggest taking advantage of younger generations creative energies and reccomend that as a group visit problem areas in the community ,field trip, and do chalk art upon the pavement sending a message to the public and maybe help them to consider throwing their debris into the garbage or butt container and to provide one to folks at those locations.

    Comment by NW — 9:20 am March 9, 2014 #

  9. I see lots of trash at the skate park here in Delridge and the Delridge Playfield (lots of plastic water bottles). I pick up as much as I can whenever I go there with my kids. We have to do better at teaching our kids to care about this issue. The porous garbage system is also a big factor. We have raccoon attacks on our garbage can quite often (any tricks for preventing them from doing this?) and if it is windy garbage scatters everywhere before we can pick it up. Also, on garbage/recycling days the neighborhood gets really messy (again with the wind and running out of space in our recycling bin). I try to take a garbage bag with me on walks when I remember. Thanks to Diver Laura for raising awareness of this issue!

    Comment by kayo — 10:45 am March 9, 2014 #

  10. http://www.upworthy.com/people-should-know-about-this-awful-thing-we-do-and-most-of-us-are-simply-unaware

    Diver Laura,
    Perhaps you might show this video to the HS students

    Comment by KK50 — 1:46 pm March 9, 2014 #

  11. A little ammonia poured on top of the garbage inside your can, or dumped on a paper towel and set at the top usually works. It doesn’t take much.

    Comment by Db — 2:04 pm March 9, 2014 #

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