Think the weekend was wet? If forecasters are right in predicting a wetter, colder winter than normal due to a La Niña weather pattern, expect more of the same.
That means now is the time to get ready for the rain, set for the snow and prepared to go against the wind -- before storm season arrives.
Bellevue's elevation range from Lake Washington to Cougar Mountain -- about 1,400 feet -- is the most of any city in the area; it presents a particular challenge when there's snow or ice on roads. Remember the series of snow storms that nailed Bellevue in late 2008 and early 2009?
Wind and rain storms can cause problems, too, whether from a widespread power outage or localized street flooding. Think back to the wind-blown outages in December 2006, or the five inches of rain that fell during a single day -- Oct. 20, 2003 -- on some locations in the region.
The city offers extensive information about emergency preparedness as well as what you can do when a big storm hits. Take Winter by Storm is another excellent source of information. While these web pages offer many good suggestions about preparing for, and dealing with emergencies, here are a few helpful points to remember when it comes to wind, rain or snow:
- Wind: Prepare a kit with a flashlight, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food, blankets and warm clothing, emergency phone numbers, a first aid kit and other items you might need if power is out for several days.
- Rain: Clear storm drains of leaves and debris. Most street flooding is caused by clogged storm drain grates. With over 20,000 public drains in the city, it's important for everyone to clear grates of debris near their homes.
- Snow-ice: If there's snow or ice in the forecast, plan ahead, and allow extra travel time. Before leaving home, pack winter safety equipment, including a shovel, flashlight, blankets and chains or cables for the tires, along with a breakdown kit. In severe events, it's often best to stay home if possible.
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