KING TIDE: Duwamish River deluges South Park

3:50 PM: Thanks to Devlin Carey for the photos. While the weather-enhanced king-tide waters were mostly a point of curiosity in West Seattle, they caused more-serious trouble along the Duwamish River in. South Park, flooding streets and neighborhoods.

At the peak of it, emergency responders had to rescue people from what was described as “flooding/possible sinkhole” near 5th South and South Holden.

ADDED 8:14 PM: Speaking of responders, look what one crew faced, in this photo sent by a reader who works in South Park:

Tonight we also have an advisory from SDOT that road closures continue:

Due to flooding, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) closed streets north of S Kenyon Street from 8th Ave S to SR 99 in South Park until further notice. (Read SPU’s statement on today’s flooding in South Park.) SDOT will reopen the roads once crews verify that the area is safe to travel through. SDOT advises travelers to avoid unnecessary travel in this area. If you must travel, please slow down and avoid driving through flooded roads.

24 Replies to "KING TIDE: Duwamish River deluges South Park"

  • AMD December 27, 2022 (3:54 pm)

    Climate change was cause by the wealthiest among us, but will have the greatest affect on the poorest.  King tides are nothing new, but when exacerbated by the affects of climate change, they become disasters unto themselves.

  • KayK December 27, 2022 (5:10 pm)

    Smart move to upzone density in this area…

  • alkiannie December 27, 2022 (5:50 pm)

    heartbroken to read this about this sweet neighborhood 

  • JulNJer December 27, 2022 (7:43 pm)

    Other comments cover concerns about residents and businesses so I’m just gonna add that I hope this didn’t destroy the massive amount of landscaping and regrading work that was done to create the new public water access park next to the marina. From just casual observations after it opened this spring, river levels never rose to a level where the landscaping was impacted, but from these pics, it looks like all of it would’ve been under water, which would be devastating for this project. Crossing my fingers all/most survived. 

    • Robin Schwartz December 28, 2022 (3:23 pm)

      Most of the People’s Park is wildlife habitat/tidal marsh and a lot is under water even on a normal high tide. I’m guessing yesterday’s King Tide left it okay.

  • TJ December 27, 2022 (8:04 pm)

    So AMD this is a result of climate change? Sounds like you are using this to fit your narrative. The biggest factor for this in South Park was the river running extremely high already with the recent heavy rains combined with mountain snow melt. And using one area as a example of the effects of the rich on the poor seems cheap

    • JulNJer December 27, 2022 (8:39 pm)

      TJ – read the link with SPU’s statement of events. Even their “narrative” links this to climate change. Sorry that doesn’t fit what seems to be your own (denial) narrative. 

      • Jethro Marx December 27, 2022 (9:34 pm)

        The statement is actually careful to not link this event to climate change and to acknowledge that this is a historic issue in South Park. They do suggest that the frequency of such events will increase due to climate change in the future, while pretending that the steps they are taking are sufficient. A quick comparison of the Madison Valley stormwater infrastructure and South Park’s is illuminating when it comes to their priorities.

        • JulNJer December 28, 2022 (1:30 am)

          Jethro, you’re 100% correct on all counts. Mea culpa. 

        • hi-tide December 28, 2022 (9:17 am)

          Apples to oranges.
          Neglecting that South Park is largely industrial while Madison Valley wholly  residential and the Madison Park flood killed a person which resulted in a court case with a large settlement to a survivor and the new infrastructure.   

          • Jethro Marx December 28, 2022 (12:08 pm)

            Yes I’m familiar with the tragedy in Madison Valley. Apples to oranges for sure in the sense that most Madison Valley residents have the economic and social resources to, say, sue for damages, as well as the sense that they are owed a safe place to live. Have you ever been to South Park? I doubt the same tragedy would have yielded the same fruits.

          • Hi Tide December 28, 2022 (6:35 pm)

            I am sad that Jethro Mar responds in such a passive aggressive manner.
            And to respond to the challenge,  yes I have been going to and through South Park since the 1950s.  I have long enjoyed the unique aspects of this neighborhood, it small businesses the boat repair shops, water ski shop and in the last couple of decades, the rebirth of restaurants and bars such as Loretta’s which I looked at buying before it became Loretta’s.  
            Implying that Madison Valley was  exclusively for people with money is ignorant of that history also as it was a working class neighborhood traditionally.  
            And ignorant of attorneys happy to represent those whose cases offer wealth to both. 

    • Jethro Marx December 27, 2022 (9:24 pm)

      Well, you know what they say: Pick a point on the globe, yes the picture’s the same- same bodies buried hungry but with different last names.

      But common sense is enough to know that the poor suffer more than the rich, whatever the calamity. As to attributing the severity of this event to climate change we’d probably want to see some data. I can see you are as ready to discount it as AMD is to hype it, so even that probably won’t get us anywhere. Sort of a microcosm of the whole climate change discussion, really.

  • 1994 December 27, 2022 (9:46 pm)

     A river does what a river does.  The community was built at sea level where a river meets the sea.  Humans can’t tame nature.

  • RE December 28, 2022 (8:17 am)

    WSB, how can the WS community help the South Park community? What do they need? Bodies to help clean up? Housing? Supplies?

  • David December 28, 2022 (9:58 am)

    Good morning, everyone. Anyone know of ways to lend a hand to our South Park neighbors in the immediate aftermath of the flooding? A quick internet search hasn’t turned up any organized efforts. Thank you.

  • Deb Barke December 28, 2022 (11:33 am)

    Per Paulina Lopez, Exec. Director of the Duwamish River Community Coalition, people can donate food blankets and clothes for affected families. DRCC info is at Address listed as 7409 3rd Ave Sou to, Seattle, 98108. Go to 

  • WSB December 28, 2022 (12:10 pm)

    Thanks for the info on assisting SP community members. I will write a separate followup later today – if there’s anything more happening or help needed/info, – thank you! – TR

  • 22blades January 1, 2023 (7:48 pm)

    Is there an entity that has mapped the event to get a visual handle on the extent of flooding?

    • WSB January 1, 2023 (9:17 pm)

      I suspect the SDOT road closures from last week would provide borders. This is how SDOT described it in a 12/27 evening media advisory: “Due to flooding, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) closed streets north of S Kenyon Street from 8th Ave S to SR 99 in South Park until further notice.”

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