West Seattle storm woes: Beach Drive closure, other updates

(4:47 PM UPDATE: Rain stopped, but effects haven’t: Slide has completely closed Beach Drive in 6200 block, immediately north of last January’s slide. However, the Allstar Fitness parking lot is open again; waters have receded. 5:46 PM – Added scenes from Seola, Westcrest, WS Golf Course flooding. Meantime, our first round of coverage, covering the previous 6+ hours, can be seen here; we’re keeping this coverage atop the home page, so other non-storm stories, even if newer, will appear BELOW it, like this one)

1:03 PM: Thanks to Jai Suh for that panorama of the Allstar Fitness parking lot (map), which, as first reported in our morning updates, is flooded and closed – though the club is still open, and nearby street parking is quite well-used. For context, here’s a different view, looking northeast, which we shot around 1 pm:

Nearby Longfellow Creek is over its banks, at least in that area. More sandbags have arrived at Delridge Community Center, the city tells us, for those who need them and know the best way to use them.

West Marginal Way Southwest (shot above is from the 6000 blockmap) is swamped in spots and while it may be open, we advise avoiding it (update – a more-recent driver noted that it’s fine north of the Duwamish Longhouse, which is having a concert today, so if you’re going to that, just approach from the north). The power is BACK ON in the Admiral business district – we just drove through and verified that businesses such as Bird on a Wire 2 and Alki Bike and Board are open (we had heard earlier that businesses to the south, including Muttley Crew Cuts and Bartell Drugs, were back on too). The rain is lighter now, and The Junction – which did NOT lose power at any point – is open for another Hometown Holidays Sunday, with the Farmers’ Market till 2 pm and Santa photos at Donna Ryan Photography till 3:

West Seattle Hi-Yu Junior Court Princess Riley Frederickson is assisting today – just last week she made news for coming up with the idea that won the vote to be next year’s Hi-Yu float theme, “Sparkling Seattle.” Now that the rain is easing, do get out and support your local businesses (check our West Seattle Holiday Shopping Guide for some of the deals offered by more than 20 of them) – this is the third-to-last weekend shopping day till Christmas, already. Speaking of shopping, there are some issues with debit/credit cards at Westwood Village – there’s some kind of technical problem affecting some of the merchants; we got multiple tips on this and the situation seems to keep changing, though Target told us they are not taking debit, and credit is only $100 max per card. Meantime, we’ll continue to update this story all afternoon with the latest on the weather and its effects – we appreciate your photos and tips, too. NO events today have been canceled – to the best of our knowledge, everything on the West Seattle Holidays page is still happening.

2:22 PM UPDATE: Thanks to Jill for word of a slide behind a building in the 1100 block of Alki SW:

Also from Alki, look closely at this photo from Todd (thank you!) – you can see the water-color difference from the storm drainage in the background:

The city confirms more than three inches of rain has fallen in the past 24 hours. In comments, the WSB Forums, and elsewhere, we are seeing many reports of flooded basements. And from Seattle Public Utilities‘ latest news release, another big number:

The Utility has received more than 400 customer calls since midnight, and has activated its Urban Flood Response Plan – deploying extra drainage crews throughout Seattle, sending storm observers to various at-risk sections of the city, and increasing the number of emergency call-takers at its Operations Response Center.

At present, SPU is dealing with a heavy volume of calls; and its emergency response system is at full capacity.

“We are responding to emergency calls from customer as quickly as we can,” SPU Deputy Director Nick Pealy said. “We hope to work through our call backlog today, but because of the volume of calls we’ve received, it could be tomorrow before we’re able to get to everybody.”

To report flooding or blocked drains or heavy ponding in the street, please call (206) 386-1800.

Under its urban flood plan, SPU’s 16 drainage truck crews drop their normal maintenance duties and respond to field emergency calls. If the volume of calls becomes high enough – as they are today – additional crews are brought in from the SPU’s drinking water operations section and other areas of the Utilities.

3:28 PM: New problems:

Shelley shared that photo of a tree down along Beach Drive. Note the telltale blocks – it’s the same spot where a slide blocked the road for quite some time last January (here’s one of our stories). We’re also hearing about flooding in Arbor Heights, apparently near the Seola drainage pond – off to check on that.

4:47 PM UPDATE: We’ve stopped by both of the aforementioned scenes. What is usually an alley/street end leading to the Seola retention pond at 104th/30th is pretty much a small lake. Photos to come. Also, we went to the Beach Drive “tree down” spot – and discovered it’s a slide, and the road is now completely closed there (6200 block). We are on our way to see where the closure starts on the north side – since that’s just a half-mile south of the famous Menashe Christmas lights – definitely can’t approach them from the south. (slide photo added, taken around 4 pm)

The crew at the scene had no idea how long the road would be closed.

5:46 PM UPDATE: Here’s a Seola photo courtesy of Kelly (we have a shot from a different angle we’ll use in our later roundup – who points out the floating porta-potty:

Also some other West Seattle scenes – part of the flooding that closed the WS Golf Course, courtesy of Paul – here’s the fairway for the 12th hole:

And Rob sent photos from flooding at Westcrest Park:

We went back to Longfellow Creek at Allstar Fitness – it’s receded a bit, and the lot has reopened.

26 Replies to "West Seattle storm woes: Beach Drive closure, other updates"

  • Jasperblu December 12, 2010 (1:10 pm)

    My basement laundry room has started to flood. Fauntlee Hills neighborhood, Trenton/41st Ave. SW area. Minor so far, as I have a French drain system, but if the rain continues for several days, we’re screwed. :-(

  • John Douglas December 12, 2010 (1:21 pm)

    We worked throughout parts of the night to save the storage area under our house. We finally lost the battle to keep the water out. The sump pump was overwhelmed and we had to add garden hoses to the siphoning.

  • Diane December 12, 2010 (1:30 pm)

    what does that mean, French drain system?

  • Jasperblu December 12, 2010 (2:08 pm)

    French Drains explained (from Wiki):


  • Alki Resident December 12, 2010 (2:10 pm)

    I was wondering when Allstar would be getting an outdoor pool.

  • Brian December 12, 2010 (2:31 pm)

    I discovered a small spring in my basement this morning. Once it dries out a bit I guess I’ll be digging a few ditches for some new french drains.

  • Diane December 12, 2010 (3:01 pm)

    thanks Jasperblu; cool; never heard of these

  • Jim December 12, 2010 (3:05 pm)

    If you have a portable pump, try removing all the nasty stuff that collects underneath to keep a good flow. Sometimes mine needs to be unplugged for a minute to revert to a frequent cycle if it has been clogged for a while.

    Your pump might not be a goner yet…

  • Katie December 12, 2010 (3:29 pm)

    I see you Cassidy and Min! You’re looking great!

  • cathyw December 12, 2010 (4:02 pm)

    It’s stopped raining in Alki! YAY!

  • Marie December 12, 2010 (4:06 pm)

    I just want to offer a big “Thank You” to the tireless folks at the West Seattle Blog for keeping us up to date and providing a place where people can share information. Your efforts are much appreciated!

  • ArborHeightsMom December 12, 2010 (4:08 pm)

    Sorry to hear so many folks are damp. On the good news side — the Santa at Donna Ryan photography is fantastic. Will never wait in line at Nordy’s for 3 hours again!

  • sybil December 12, 2010 (4:14 pm)

    We were outside bailing water from the side of our house earlier today. The basement sprung a leak in only one spot (at least, so far) and there was a lot of standing water on that side of the house. We will probably be looking at installing a french drain in the spring or summer. Sorry to hear even those aren’t 100% effective either, though.

  • d December 12, 2010 (4:14 pm)

    I haven’t stopped baling water from my basement but once in seven hours. Drat the floor basin that is clogged. Double drat that I don’t have a sump pump. Triple drat no plumber till Mon PM.

    But yay! It’s not raining for now! Back to it. Good luck all!

  • coffee December 12, 2010 (4:21 pm)

    really, 3 hours for santa???

  • Cclarue December 12, 2010 (4:32 pm)

    Coffee for some a visit to the Santa @ nordstrom is a tradition and in keeping of tradition if the line is long u just wait and plan better next year ;) like going on an off day or time.

  • DK December 12, 2010 (4:47 pm)

    Seconding Marie’s comments above – thank you for all the great info & hard work WSB — we are very fortunate to have such a fantastic resource in W Seattle ~ Happy Holidays!

  • bertha December 12, 2010 (6:00 pm)

    Don’t know if this is rain related but the phone lines are down at Target and Barnes & Noble.

  • Melissa December 12, 2010 (6:35 pm)

    Phone lines are down complex-wide at Westwood, and have been since this morning. Stores are working around the problem as best they can.

  • fiz December 12, 2010 (6:39 pm)

    Not surprising,Westwood Village was built on a wetland. If it’s underground, it’s in water today.

  • Bill December 12, 2010 (6:40 pm)

    Now I know why I appreciate living in a 2-story walkup apartment near the top of High Point. No drainage problems at my place. (grin)

  • Rhonda Porter December 12, 2010 (6:47 pm)

    Beach Drive now has a “street closed” sign at Jacobson heading south towards the mudslide.

  • john December 12, 2010 (7:09 pm)

    I noticed the manhole at Allstar Fitness is a combined sewer overflow (CSO).

    The sewer water was flowing out the top of the manhole and into the parking lot. I had to ask a woman to keep her dog out.

  • wrung out December 12, 2010 (7:19 pm)

    fyi –

    as of 4:30 or so, Home Depot on Delridge was out of sump pumps and had pretty much been wiped out of wet/dry vacs, except for a handful of 2.5 gal. and giant expensive ones.

  • Freddy Nelson December 12, 2010 (7:23 pm)

    Ahem, just for the record: The tradition of a portrait with Santa at the corner of Sixth & Pine died with Frederick & Nelson back in 1991.

    There’s another photo booth there now, run by the “fashion retailers” who destroyed the ambiance of the old store with their interpretation of the shops at Ceaser’s Palace, but what’s the point?

    Photograph local! ;-)

  • Steph December 12, 2010 (10:32 pm)

    Looks like Magnuson is not the only off leash park with water access.

Sorry, comment time is over.