Preparing for storms, flooding

Help needed to keep storm drains clear

October 01, 2021 - by Amy Cloud, Communications and Outreach

Fall storms can lead to clogged storm drains and standing water on City streets. Bellingham Public Works is asking for residents to help keep storm drains clear. Heavy rain and clogged drains forces water over roadways, which can make travel unsafe.

“While we run street-sweepers year-round, storms can push leaves and debris up to storm drains right after we’ve cleared them,” said Scott Brown-Davis, stormwater maintenance supervisor for Public Works. “We appreciate having neighbors help out by making sure the drains near their residences are kept clear, so long as it is safe to do so.”

Brown-Davis added that includes not pushing leaves from private property out onto City street, which is a violation of the Bellingham Municipal Code (BMC 10.20.060.)

Some areas of the city are prone to flooding during heavy rainfall.  Bellingham’s Public Works monitors creeks and streams and working to ensure there are no logjams or other obstructions at bridges and culvert crossings.  If rain or flood water cover city streets, they may be posted as “closed” to traffic.

According to Jason Porter, Bellingham’s surface and stormwater manager, the City works year-round on management of surface and stormwater issues, including flooding.  Bellingham’s Surface and Stormwater Utility covers the cost of flood response, as well as funding for flood relief projects to reduce the risk of damaging floods.


How do I report water over the road or flooding in my neighborhood?

The City has a 24-hour Stormwater Hotline for this purpose.  Please phone (360) 778-7979 or report the issue online, via

What do I need to know about flooding in Bellingham?

  • If you see flooding or water over a roadway, please contact the City.
  • Do not drive through standing water. It can be difficult to see any drop-offs or underlying street damage.
  • If there are “street closed / water on roadway” signs posted DO NOT drive through.
  • Be proactive about protecting your property from floodwaters, especially if you may need sandbags.

For additional information, please visit Keep Leaves and Grass Out of Storm Drains – City of Bellingham ( or email    

Media Contact

Amy Cloud
Communications and Outreach
City of Bellingham – Public Works

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