Emergency and storm response
King County is prepared to respond 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week to roadway emergencies. Motorists are urged to use extra caution when traveling during inclement weather and never to drive around roadway barricades or through closed roads. If you have roadway flooding issues, contact the 24/7 Road Helpline at 206-477-8100 or toll-free at 1-800-527-6237.
- Roads and flooding
- Snow and response
- King County Flood Warning System - River basin maps, real-time gage readings, etc.
- Hazards and disasters - Info on the most common disasters that can strike King County and hazard-specific preparedness steps.
- Personal preparedness - Steps for how to be prepared for an emergency.
In case of flooding
- If you are caught in your home or car by rapidly rising waters, call 911 immediately.
- To report roadside flooding, call the 24/7 Road Helpline at 206-477-8100.
- Do not walk or wade through flooded areas.
- Do not drive where water is over the road or around barricaded road signs.
- For flood information, contact the King County Flood Warning System at 206-296-8200 or 1-800-945-9263.
A year-round problem
Roadside flooding is a year-round problem that escalates during the fall when trees drop their leaves and the first heavy rainfall washes them into the drainage system. When storm drain grates are blocked, rains and other surface water do not have a place to drain properly, forcing surface water into yards and roadways. Bank erosion and fast-moving water are the primary ways in which floodwaters create their path of destruction.
Whenever there is a strong and steady rainfall, Road Services maintenance crews respond to roadside flooding incidents. The majority of the calls we respond to are due to leaves and litter clogging storm drain grates. If you notice more than two inches of standing water on your property or in the roadway, we recommend you call the 24/7 Road Helpline at 206-477-8100.
Learn more about our flooding response.
Maintenance division shops in unincorporated King County.
Division 1 - Cadman, in Redmond, WA
Division 2 - Fall City, in Fall City, WA
Division 3 - Renton, in Renton, WA
Division 4 - Diamond, in Black Diamond, WA
Division 5 - Vashon, on Vashon Island, WA
Division 6 - Skykomish, in Skykomish, WA
Potholes or roadway defects
Roads Services provides customer service, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week for reporting any potential problems or concerns affecting the roadways throughout unincorporated King County. To report a pothole or roadway defect call the 24/7 Road Helpline.
To ensure that the repairs you are requesting are handled in a timely and efficient manner, please have the following information available at the time of your call:
- Your name.
- Your address and daytime phone number. (It is important that you provide a contact number in the event more information is needed.)
- The location of the pothole, including the nearest cross street and/or address.
- A description of the problem. (There are other types of road defects that may appear as a pothole, but may require more intensive repairs.)
- Any other pertinent information that may need to be relayed to the crews about the area or the problem.
Road Services annually schedules its roadside weed control program for the unincorporated areas of the county and in some cities by contract. As part of the program, licensed technicians perform controlled herbicide spraying along some road shoulders starting in the spring and going through the summer. The spraying is performed to help reduce safety hazards for pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists. The spraying also controls noxious weeds that are toxic to some animals and pose environmental risks to native vegetation.
The Seattle-King County Health Department monitors the Roads Maintenance Spray Program for potential environmental health impacts and has been very pleased with the results of tests on herbicides applied using the division's application methods.
All herbicide applications are designed to keep roads and shoulders safe for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians, prevent root systems from damaging the roadways and to reduce sod buildup that can cause roadway flooding and icy conditions in the winter months. Weed control also reduces fires that can ignite uncontrolled vegetation and overgrowth that can cause accidents due to reduced visibility.
Road Services uses small amounts of herbicides on a carefully-controlled basis. Trained and licensed technicians use only those herbicides approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration and the State Department of Agriculture. These technicians must take required annual certification refresher courses to maintain their license prior to performing any of the herbicide spraying. Applications are additionally guided by best management practices that include follow-up monitoring and soil testing.
No routine herbicide spraying is conducted in ditches or near water, including rivers, streams, wetlands, bridge abutments, guardrails near water, levees, back slopes or in moratorium zones, which includes the Snoqualmie Valley and both Vashon and Maury Islands. Although, noxious weed control, which law mandates, can include spot spraying even in moratorium areas.
Road Services will also be removing all tansy ragwort from the right-of-way due to the flowering weed's danger to animals. State and local laws require the removal of tansy ragwort and other noxious weeds. Residents who maintain the right-of-way are asked to place vegetation that may contain tansy ragwort in sealable bags to prevent the spread of this weed.
"Owner Will Maintain" Program
King County offers residents the opportunity to participate in a companion program to the Roads Maintenance Spray Program. The "Owner Will Maintain Program" allows residents to control vegetation on the right-of-way that abuts their property. To participate in this program, residents must sign a maintenance agreement with the county to maintain the right-of-way and to also post "Owner Will Maintain" signs in an area visible from the roadway. For more information call 206-477-8100 or toll-free at 1-800-KC-ROADS.