It’s that time of year: ‘The No. 1 thing to do is make sure your gutters are clear’

SEATTLE - A wet weekend is on the way across the Puget Sound and fallen leaves left on the ground near your home can lead to flooding.

“The number one thing you want to do is make sure your gutters are cleared," said Karen Rich, Program Director for Take Winter by Storm, King County’s weather preparedness agency.

Rich says you should clear your gutters and drains of leaves and other debris that can cause flooding and property damage.

“Make sure that your gutters drain away from your home. So in other words, they don’t drain right into the foundation but they actually drain away from foundation and down off the property. So follow the water line off the property.”

If you live in a rural area, Rich says you should sign up to receive river-flood alerts from your local utility company. Homeowners can also build small ditches or culverts that will help rain water drain away from their homes. Because the weather this fall has been warmer than usual, she says you should begin doing home maintenance now before cold, winter temperatures set in.

“It’s also a great time to put the outdoor faucet covers on before we begin to get into freeze. This time last year we actually had a freeze,” Rich said.

If your home is on a street with storm drains, Rich suggest you safely remove leaves from the drain and says now is the best time to get started.

“It’ easier to rake leaves when they’re dry than when they’re wet,” Rich said.

If storm drains in your area still get clogged, you can call your local utility company so they can get it cleared.

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