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City urges people to pick up a rake ahead of this weekend’s wet weather

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SEATTLE -- Utility crews are concerned about flooding this weekend so they are asking for people to pick up a rake and clear leaves away from nearby storm drains.

Seattle Public Utilities crews are gearing up for a busy few days, but they need your help.

“If you see the flooding in the street, come on out and rake it,” Randall Dickey of Seattle Public Utilities said.

With about 80,000 storm drains across Seattle, it’s hard for SPU to rake leaves away from every drain so they are relying on the community to pitch in.

“It helps us so much ... it would cut our calls in half,” Dickey said.

But SPU is only urging customers to rake leaves. If other things are clogging the drain, they say do not touch.

“We ask that people don’t pull the lid and clean off the debris inside. It’s for safety reasons,” Dickey said.

“A lot of people go out and clean the drains and gutters,” West Seattle resident Susan Vanhook said.

Vanhook is just hoping there will be just enough of a break this weekend for her grandson to go trick-or-treating.

“It’s Seattle, they are used to the rain,” Vanhook said.

So are crews who will be using a network of rain gauges across Seattle pinpointing the areas that are hit the worst.

“We can see more clearly where the rain is heavier in real time and use that information to respond,” said James Rufo-Hill, meteorologist for the city of Seattle.