People get ready – Very cold winter storm approaching‏

Seattle Public Utilities has asked neighborhood groups around Seattle to pass this on via mailing lists and blogs.

We are gearing up for the fast moving winter storm that is approaching. The extremely cold weather will swoop in around midnight Saturday possible dropping into the low teens. This arctic weather could last up to 14 days. So please, get you, your home, your work and your car’s emergency prepared kits together.

With the National Weather Service forecasting freezing weather moving into Seattle late this weekend, Seattle Public Utilities is advising residents of actions they can take to prevent burst pipes and costly repairs.

Seattle Public Utilities says freezing temperatures often results in broken pipes, flooding and damage to private property. That can mean huge repair bills for property owners, well beyond the cost of a plumber’s visit.

And, while that leak is being repaired at your own expense, you might have to go for a while without water.

Here is a list of tips that can help prevent costly damage and repairs to your home—and keep you safe on the streets:

  • Prepare your water pipes for cold weather, ahead of time. Shut off outside faucets, drain the water and protect them by insulating them with rags or foam covers. Pipes in exposed or unheated areas (attics, basements and garages) should be wrapped with tape and insulating materials, available at local hardware stores. Drain and remove all outdoor hoses, and shut off and drain in-ground sprinkler systems.
  • Once it drops below freezing, protect indoor sink pipes that are against exterior walls, by opening under-sink cabinet doors, allowing heat to circulate. During severe cold, allow the faucet farthest from your front door to slowly drip cold water. Set your thermostat no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit, day or night (even if you are away).
  • Do not leave water running in unoccupied buildings.
  • Please don’t use hair dryers to thaw frozen pipes!
  • If a water pipe breaks, immediately close the main shut-off valve to stop excessive flooding. If you cannot turn off the main shut-off valve, SPU customers can call (206) 386-1800 and a crew will turn off the water at the meter for a standard service charge.
  • In the event of snow, residents are asked to help keep street drains clear by removing snow and other debris — if it can be done safely. As the snow melts, blockages in the gutters or drains will hinder runoff, increase the risk of flooding, and make the morning commute more difficult.
  • If an inlet or street drain appears to be blocked by snow or debris, try to safely clear a channel to provide a path for the runoff. If the drain cannot be cleared, or if the cause of the blockage or flooding is uncertain, call Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) at (206) 386-1800.

Heavy rain following closely after heavy snowfall can increase the chance of landslides due to soil saturation that reduces slope stability. Property owners on slopes are advised to clear both drains on their buildings and storm drains near their property. If a landslide damages your property and you have an immediate concern for your safety, leave the premises and call 9-1-1.

Seattle property owners with structures affected by or endangered by a landslide may contact the Department of Planning and Development at 206-684-7899, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., for a rapid evaluation of damage. Such evaluations are not meant to provide a comprehensive assessment, which will need to be completed by a private structural or geotechnical engineer.
Learn more at

In addition to providing more than 1.3 million customers in the Seattle metropolitan area with a reliable water supply, SPU provides essential sewer, drainage, solid waste and engineering services that safeguard public health, maintain the City’s infrastructure and protect, conserve and enhance the region’s environmental resources.

2 comments to People get ready – Very cold winter storm approaching‏

  • Thomas

    Cliff Mass updated his forecast on KUOW at 9:50 this morning. “The bottom line: the low appears to be going further north than yesterday’s model output suggested…making snow much less likely today and this evening. Cold is still coming tomorrow and Sunday. The National Weather Service (NWS) will have to amend their forecasts. ”

    We (our state) needs a new coastal radar for weather forecasting. Let your congressional representative (McDermott) and senators (Cantwell and Murray) know that this is an investment that will positively impact millions of people, businesses, and local goverments that need to know when it will snow and when it will not.

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