Heavy rainfall causes flooding in Ballard

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The heavy rains on Tuesday afternoon caused some localized flooding in Ballard. We heard from a number of readers who experienced flooding nearby their homes.

Jonathan emailed in a photo of his daughter Cecilia (pictured), a third grader at Adams Elementary, who was braving the flood on 17th Ave NW and NW 73rd St. At this stage, there are no reports of damage as a result of the flooding

Do you have any photos of the flooding? Email them in to tips@myballard.com

Be prepared for high winds and heavy rain

A big storm is headed our way with winds picking up tonight, followed by heavy rain expected before sunrise tomorrow. According to King5, moderate to intense rain will fall from about 4 to 6 a.m. King5 says to expect one to three inches of rain to fall.

The heavy rain this time of year means Seattle is primed for urban flooding. Seattle Public Utilities is urging people adopt a drain and clean out leaves and debris from the storm drains in front of their house.

The number for reporting flooding issues is 206-386-1800.

Seattle City Light crews are prepared for the high winds. “With many leaves still on area trees to catch the wind and rain that will weigh trees down, this storm could blow trees and branches into power lines, causing outages,” Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said. “Our crews are ready to respond and restore service as quickly and as safely as possible, but it is always important for each of us to be prepared.”

City Light has this map to track power outages. If your power goes out or if you spot a downed power line, assume it’s live and call (206) 684-3000.

Both City Light and SPU urge residents to put together a survival kit with enough food and supplies to last your family for at least three days. Click here for a check list and other tips.

Basement at Bop Street Records floods

A steady stream of water is bubbling up through a drain in the basement at Bop Street Records on Ballard Ave. in Old Ballard, flooding parts of a large storage area housing 250,000 vintage records.

“We don’t know where the water is coming from,” said Bop Street Records owner Dave Vorhees. He said the water began bubbling up though a drain Friday night, and both the City of Seattle and Roto Rooter have been unable to pinpoint the source. Then Saturday afternoon, water began bubbling up another drain a few feet away. A sump pump is trying to keep up with it all.

About an inch of water has formed in several large pools in the basement, soaking boxes of records sitting on the floor. “I don’t even want to know,” Vorhees said when we asked about the damage estimate.

Among the quarter million records in the basement is Vorhees’ own personal collection of 45’s. In between customers, he’s drying them off, one by one.

“Conway Twitty is one of my favorites,” he said, drying off the record with toilet paper and adding it to a large pile on the music stage. “I think we’re salvaging enough,” he said. “It may be a good excuse to reorganize them.”

Bop Street Records has been in Ballard since 1984, and it’s been described as “vinyl heaven” and a “pilgrimage for any audio snob.” The store remains open as workers try to stop the flow of water. We’ll keep you updated.

Update: Bop Street tells us the water stopped when the rain stopped falling on Saturday night, but they still haven’t identified the source of the problem.

Big thaw begins, flood watch issued

2:15 p.m. update: The rain is falling steadily (as a rain-snow mix on Phinney Ridge), and the snow is melting along with it. This is 8th Ave. near 65th:

And here it was two days ago:

A flood watch has been issued for the greater Puget Sound region, urging residents to clear storm drains to minimize the risk of urban flooding.

This morning, we noticed this SDOT crew clearing a drain at 51st and 8th Ave.

Most of these drains are packed over with snow and ice. “What people can do at home is, if they have a storm drain that’s out front and they know where its at and they have a shovel or a broom that’s available, they can clear the drain of snow and basically do what we’re doing,” said Carrie Parker, Seattle Public Utilities Dept. To report a drainage problem, call 684-3000, or 386-1800 if there’s a blockage below the street surface. Other tips: clear heavy snow off the side of your house and your back porch so water won’t leak inside.