Flooding is one of the most common hazards in the United States, and can be caused by a wide variety of factors. Flooding can occur at any time, and on any scale, making them very unpredictable. This is why it is important to be prepared.

Owners of buildings in danger of being flooded should call the Maintenance Services Division at 425-430-7400 to report the condition and obtain assistance. For emergencies after 3:30 p.m. or on weekends, and if the emergency cannot wait until the next business day, call the Police Department at 425-235-2121.

Before a Flood

General Information

 Know when a flood is coming! Sign up for King County Flood Alerts and view current flood warnings.

Terms to Know

The following terms are used to describe potential flood impacts in emergency alerts.

Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Stay tuned to a NOAA weather radio, local news or radio stations, or the National Weather Service for more information.

Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

Urban and Small Stream Advisory: Flooding of small streams, streets, and low-lying areas is occurring.
Flood Watch vs Flood Warning

Protect Your Property

Find out if your property is in a flood plain area. Renton residents can find this information by calling Gary Fink, Surface Water Utility Engineer, at (425) 430-7392.

Make a household evacuation plan if you live within a flood plain. Identify a safe place to meet in an emergency, and locate a place to stay in the event of a flood.

Consider purchasing flood insurance. Flood losses are not covered under most homeowner’s insurance policies. Flood insurance is available in most communities through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). For more information about flood insurance, contact your insurance supplier or visit the NFIP website.

The City participates in the NFIP. This results in increased flood protection and entitles property owners to a 25% discount in flood insurance rates. The Surface Water Utility Division provides the services necessary to qualify for the reduction.

Help prevent local urban flooding by locating storm drains near your house and clearing them of leaves or other debris. Help prevent clogged pipes by getting rid of landscaping waste properly.

During a Flood

If your home is in danger of flooding, report the incident to Maintenance Services Division at (425) 430-7400.

24-hour emergency service is available for flooding, hazardous road conditions, down or damaged stop or yield signs, no water, sewer overflows, and water main breaks.

For emergencies after 3:30 p.m. or on weekends, and if the emergency cannot wait until the next business day, call the Renton Police Department at (425) 430-7500.

Basic Safety Tips

  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown. Never drive through flood waters, even if it only looks to be a few inches deep. Even shallow water can lift vehicles. Flooding may be causing erosion underneath a road, presenting additional danger if driven on.
  • Never touch, swim through, play in, or drink flood water. Flood water may be contaminated, and just 6 inches of moving water can knock grown adults down.
  • If a flash flood alert or warning is issued, stay away from streams or rivers (even dried beds). Move to high ground immediately.
  • Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rain.

During a Flood Watch

Flood Watch means be aware. Flooding could occur in your area.

  • Monitor local news sources for emergency instructions and weather updates.
  • Plan an evacuation route in case you need to move to high ground.
  • Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest floor in your house to protect them from flood damage.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances if your house is in a flood plain. Do not touch electronics if you are wet or standing in water to protect yourself from electrocution.
  • If instructed to do so, turn off your utilities.
  • Be aware of flash floods. If there is a possibility of a flash flood, move to high ground immediately. Do not wait for evacuation instructions.

During a Flood Warning

Flood Warning means take immediate action to keep yourself safe. Flooding is imminent or occurring in your area.

  • Evacuate immediately if instructed to do so
  • Stay away from flood waters. They could be contaminated.
  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. You and your vehicle can be quickly swept away as flood waters rise.

After a Flood

 General Information

  • Return home when it is safe to do so
  • Do not walk through or touch flood water. Water may be contaminated or charged with electrical current from downed power lines. Stay away!
  • Stay away from moving water. Moving water only six inches deep can sweep you off your feet.
  • Flood water may have eroded roads or walkways. Be careful when driving or walking in areas that have flooded.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them to the power company.
  • Consider your family's health and safety needs. Wash hands frequently with soap and clean water if you come in contact with flood waters. Throw away food that has come in contact with flood waters. Listen for news reports to learn whether the water supply is safe to drink.

Insurance Information 

Contact your insurance provider as soon as you can. To help with this process, take the following steps:

  • Take photos of or videotape your belongings and your home
  • Separate damaged and undamaged belongings
  • Locate your financial records
  • Keep detailed records of cleanup costs

Flood Evacuation Routes

If you live in a floodplain, make a family emergency plan that includes a flood evacuation plan using these flood evacuation maps for various flooding scenarios.

Green River Flood Evacuation Map


Fema Floodplain Mapping in Renton
Floodplain maps for the City of Renton

King County Flood Warnings and Alerts
Current flood conditions for King County rivers including maps, data, and local flood references.

King County Flood Services and Information
King County flood services and information including how to prepare for a flood, road conditions and closures, and sandbag distribution locations in King County.

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
The NFIP aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners, renters and businesses and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations.

Flood Preparedness Information from Ready.gov
Learn more about actions to take when during a flood or potential flood, and how to prepare for a flood emergency.

King County Metro Transit Flood Service Information
Snow, ice, and flood alerts from King County Metro, including current route delays and changes.

United States Geological Survey Stream Gauges
The USGS collects data continuously at almost 400 stream, reservoir, weather quality, meteorological, and groundwater sites in WA. 

How to Use Sandbags
Video showing proper sandbag use to protect your property.

Preparedness information adapted from ready.gov/flood.
Contact Information

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