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Thurston County, Washington

The content on the Thurston County website is currently provided in English. We are providing the “Translation” for approximately 10 languages. The goal of the translation is to provide visitors with limited English proficiency to access information on the website in other languages. The translations do not translate all types of documents, and it may not give you an exact translation all the time. The translations are made through an automated process, which may not result in accurate or precise translations, particularly of technical and legal terminology.

Emergency Management

Dealing with High Groundwater Issues

If you have water over your driveway:

​If possible, get a vehicle on the opposite side of the water so you have ingress and egress.

  • Estimate the water depth and then call a tow company to see if they have a tow truck that can pass through that amount of water or that has the ability to pick up your car and move it to the opposite side. You will need waders or small boat to get back and forth.
  • Call a relative or friend that can put a spare car on the opposite side of the water.
  • Make arrangements with relative or friend with high water 4x4 for transportation needs or see if they can bring you a small boat.

If you can cross the water in waders or by small boat, but can’t get a vehicle stationed at the other side:

  • Make arrangements with relative or friend for transportation needs.

If you want to leave your house until water recedes:

  • ​Make arrangements with relative or friend with high water 4x4 for transportation needs.
  • Contact a taxi or ride-share for transportation needs.
  • Call Thurston County Emergency Management (360-867-2800). They may be able to arrange a onetime transport if you have no other options.

If your home or other structure is being flooded by high groundwater:

  • ​Sandbagging alone does not stop high groundwater; the water will rise equally on either side of the sandbag unless one side is impervious. You will need a pump on the side you are protecting; this basically creates a circulating system because as you pump the water over the sandbag it puts more pressure on the opposite side which pushes more water up on the side you are pumping from. It is a good idea to lay a plastic sheet or tarp down that is weighted down by sandbags to create a clean location to pump the water from. This reduces pump clogging and burnout.
  • Contact Thurston County Emergency Management about the potential of elevating your home.
  • If you have concerns about your septic or well water, see the Environmental Health webpage or contact them with questions at (360) 867-2673.

If you have an emergency and need to call 911:

​Be clear about driveway condition so they can come prepared.