Rainstorms

Close Up Image of Storm Drain With Leaf and Water Flowing
Significant rainstorms may cause roadside drainage facilities such as storm drains and ditches to overflow and flood the roadway. River flooding may also affect our roads. As rain saturates the ground, there is also an increased risk of downed trees and landslides.

You can report roadway flooding, downed trees and landslides 24/7 by submitting a Request for Action Form or calling (253) 798-6000. Road or lanes may be closed due to roadway flooding, downed trees or landslides. View our map of roadway obstructions.

Our response 


During significant rainstorms, our road crews will:
  • Monitor the condition of roads and drainage systems
  • Respond to reports of roadway flooding 
  • Clear blockages when possible, or close roads or lanes if they are not passable
  • Clean systems to proactively reduce flooding
They will also remove downed or leaning trees when it is safe to do so. If there are downed utility lines on or along the roadway, the road or lane may be closed and the local utility company will be contacted to handle the downed utility lines.

If a landslide occurs, road crews will assess the stability of the hillside and/or roadway before clearing the roadway. If they are unable to determine stability - especially at night - the road will likely be closed until an additional assessment can be made. For large or complex landslides, the road may be closed for a longer length of time while Pierce County engineers identify a plan of action.

Priority is given to major arterials and collectors, lifeline emergency routes, Pierce Transit and school bus snow routes, and access roads to highways, freeways, and park and ride lots.

Tips for motorists 


  • Do not drive through standing water, near downed trees and utility lines, or around road closure barricades. 
  • Turn around and take an alternative route if you come across a landslide blocking the road. 
  • Stay away from downed power lines, as they may still be energized. 

How you can help


You can help reduce flooding on our roads by picking up yard waste on your property and keeping nearby storm drains clear of leaves and debris. Take the following actions:
  • Put leaves and other yard debris in your waste bins for pick up. Find transfer stations where you can drop off yard waste at piercecountywa.org/yardwaste
  • If it can be done safely, remove leaves from storm drains with a rake.
  • If a blockage can't be cleared, the roadway is flooding or a storm drain is on a busy road, call (253) 798-6000 or submit a Request for Action Form.
Residents in cities and towns should contact their local public works departments to report flooding or storm drain problems.

River flooding


For information about river flooding, visit the Flooding page.