Local Officials Respond to Issaquah Creek Flooding
The King County region is currently experiencing flooding at a level that hasn’t occurred in years. Heavy rainfall caused severe flooding in the City of Issaquah, and the failure of a culvert along Issaquah Creek resulted in rushing water across Issaquah-Hobart Road.
Flood Control District Vice Chair Reagan Dunn, who also serves as Vice Chair of the King County Council, is requesting that the Flood Control District evaluate the need for additional flood protection along Issaquah Creek.
“The damage caused by the flooding of Issaquah Creek is a timely reminder of how much our region relies on proactive flood control,” Dunn said. “It’s imperative that we put the infrastructure in place to fight flooding before the waters ever reach our doorsteps and roadways. I will be asking the Flood Control District to re-evaluate flood protection needs along the Issaquah Creek so that during the next heavy rainfall, our roads, residents, and homes will experience less risk of flooding.”
As Issaquah Creek flooding reaches Phase 4 levels, downtown Issaquah is experiencing the worst flood conditions since 2009, leading to standing water in the downtown core, flooded homes, and the evacuation of at least three apartment buildings.
“This was a historic flood for Issaquah – one of the largest events we've seen in some time,” said Issaquah Mayor Mary Lou Pauly. “I am thankful for the King County Flood Control District’s work to date, and hopeful that analysis of this most recent event will help better inform future projects or policies for our region.”
Issaquah-Hobart Road north of May Valley Road is currently closed to traffic, and it is unclear when the road will re-open. Due to WSDOT’s parallel closure of SR 900 and SR 169, drivers traveling around Issaquah and Maple Valley will experience significant delays.
“Anytime any major road is closed in the Southeast King County area, it affects transportation for surrounding region,” said Maple Valley Mayor Sean P. Kelly. “Maple Valley commuters rely heavily on Issaquah-Hobart Road — so when it closes, surrounding streets clog up as well, causing mass delays throughout the area.”
Flood Control District Supervisor Kathy Lambert is urging residents to be cautious around flooded areas.
“As the rain continues to fall throughout the region, I encourage everyone to stay safe by obeying all signs, road closures, and other warnings as they are driving,” Lambert said. “Please be sure to avoid driving through standing water, as it may be moving faster than you expect. Twelve inches of rushing water has the power to carry away most cars, and two feet of moving water can carry away trucks and SUVs.”
Heavy rainfall is expected to continue, and the National Weather Service in Seattle has issued flood warnings for the next several days. Flooding is anticipated along the Cedar, Green, and White Rivers. The Tolt and Snoqualmie Rivers continue to rise as well.
For current information on County road closures, visit King County’s My Commute webpage. For current information on State road closures, visit the WSDOT traffic webpage. If you encounter standing water on an additional road, please notify King County Roads by calling 206-477-8100.
King County Emergency News provides information on how to respond in instances of flooding. Anyone with questions or concerns related to flooding should call the King County Flood Warning Center and Information Line at 206-296-8200 or 800-945-9263. In the case of a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1.