Tacoma city crews prepare for wicked weekend weather

TACOMA -- City crews planned to work late into Friday night and get an early start on Saturday to prepare for this weekend’s big storms.

“We’re just trying to get as much leaves up as we can that would give us potential flooding a little bit later,” said Hugh Messer with Tacoma Environmental Services.

Crews worked hard trying to clear the leaves on the north end of the city. Most people living in the Stadium District know that heavy rains can cause big-time damage.

Messer is concerned about the forecasted heavy rains.

“Two and four inches of rain,” said Messer. “It’s some of the heaviest rain I’ve seen since I’ve worked here.”

Stadium Bowl at Stadium High School seems to flood almost every time a big storm hits Pierce County.

The field had to be closed until February after a mid-October storm damaged the field.

Angie Rapada caught video of the flooding on her phone.

“There was, like, literally a river,” she said. “There was water almost up to my knees. It was really rainy out.”

Tacoma Power contractors spent Friday clearing small limbs away from energy lines before they turn into big problems.

Landscapers also rushed to finish before the rain returns.

The City of Tacoma Environmental Services also tested out its new floodwalls, which are aimed at protecting the city’s main wastewater treatment plant.

It’s an exercise the agency could repeat as the fall and winter season rolls on.

“We’re as prepared as we can get,” said Messer. “We’re going to do a lot of pre-work and then we’ll have crews right there ready to respond.”

Tacoma city officials are asking for the public’s help to clear storm drains in neighborhoods to prevent flooding. Residents who find storm drains that aren’t working property are asked to call the city at (253) 591-5585.