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Factoria hit by overnight flooding | City cleaning oil runoff from nearby business
The city of Bellevue is blaming heavy overnight rain for causing flooding in Factoria earlier this morning, which also washed oil across Factoria Boulevard that crews are still working to remove.
Tresa Berg with the city's transportation department said storm drains in the Factoria area could not handle the 2 3/4 inches of rain that fell over an 8-hour period.
"Our storm drainage system just could not handle all of that rain in eight hours," she said, which caused flood waters in Factoria to reach as high as four feet.
The heavy rain caused the pits at Formula-1 Fast Lubes to flood, washing oil onto Factoria Boulevard. Berg said the state Department of Ecology was notified, should it need to test nearby Kelsey Creek for contaminants.
Formula-1 owner Bob Healy said he believes the city is responsible for causing the flooding by installing water sock filters in a storm drain near his business that prevented water from filtering through. He added his business has been there 18 years, and has never experienced such flooding.
"I guess the city of Bellevue's position is it's the worst rainstorm ever since 1986 and capping of the storm drains had nothing to do with it," Healy said.
Berg said the city is examining its storm drains, and the water socks were left in the drains on Factoria Boulevard following a repaving project to ensure water quality.
"There was nothing clogging those water socks," she said. "They removed the drains and then everything started moving."
She said crews could be out cleaning the oil spill for the rest of the day, and the city is asking drivers to avoid entering Factoria from the south end, and using Coal Creek Parkway instead.
"We don't know how much oil yet," Berg said. "That will be something that they'll be taking a look at."
Healy said his business will remain shut down until he can pump out the pits in his shop, but the heavy flooding caused his pumping system to fail, and he has not been able to get his regular crew out to remove the water and separate the oil.
"We're trying to get things cleaned up. The city definitely has an army out here," he said.