This photo of flooding in the Snoqualmie Valley in January 2009 shows the damage that flooding can do to roadways.
Green River Flooding
Plan now for travel
Potential flooding of roadways in the lower Green River Valley could disrupt travel for transit users and drivers. King County’s Road Services and Metro Transit divisions are prepared to help you stay informed and travel safely if flooding occurs. The following information will help you plan now for travel during a flood.
Unincorporated area roads
The King County Road Services Division maintains most public roadways in unincorporated areas (outside city limits). The Washington State Department of Transportation is responsible for state highways and interstate freeways in Washington. Cities maintain roads within their jurisdictions—including state highways when a city has a population of more than 25,000.
Signs like this mark likely evacuation routes.
Road Services has prepared for potential flooding by working with local cities and the state to identify the least-flood-prone roads that residents could use to evacuate. A map showing these evacuation routes is available on the Road Services Web site. The county and several local cities have installed signs marking likely evacuation routes.
King County crews will monitor unincorporated-area roads and close them if flooding makes them dangerous.
Flooded roads could be under water for several weeks, depending on the amount of floodwater and how fast it can drain. County road crews will not reopen roads until they have inspected them for damage, cleared debris and made repairs if necessary. The county will prioritize roads for cleanup and repair according to their overall importance in moving people and goods and providing access to hospitals, fire and police stations, schools and other important destinations.
In some cases, the county will allow temporary use of closed roads so residents can check their homes.
Information about road conditions
To monitor the condition of roads in unincorporated King County, use the Road Alert Web Map at www.kingcounty.gov/roadalert. On this site you can also access Washington State Department of Transportation travel alerts, sign up for e-mail alerts, and view live images from traffic cameras. Road Services has placed additional cameras in the Green River Valley area.
Flooding in the Green River Valley could affect more than 30 Metro bus routes in parts of Auburn, Kent, Renton, and Tukwila. Depending on its severity, flooding could also have an impact on Sound Transit’s Sounder commuter rail, Link light rail, and facilities such as the Kent Station Transit Center and Tukwila Sounder Station. This could result in more people turning to buses for transportation.
For more information, visit Transit service in flooded areas (Metro Transit).
Metro has planned reroutes for bus routes that might be affected by flooding so that it can continue to provide as much service as possible outside flooded areas.
Some bus routes could be suspended if most of the area where they travel is flooded. Buses from suspended routes would be moved to routes that are still operating so they can be used to help meet higher-than-normal demand.
Metro has new tools to inform customers about changes to bus service because of flooding and other disruptions:
- Call Metro’s Customer Information Office, 206-553-3000. Translators are available for callers who don’t speak English (wait for a live operator and ask for an interpreter).