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.
Road or lanes may be closed due to roadway flooding, downed trees or landslides.
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.