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SFPUC Deploys Temporary Flood Barriers in Advance of Rare Tropical Storm
Posted Date: 4/5/2018 8:00 AM

San Francisco, CA – Today, with forecasts predicting a rare tropical storm this evening and potentially through the weekend in the Bay Area, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) will deploy temporary interlocking flood barriers along 17th and Folsom Streets, a low-lying area with increased flood risk, during the early morning to approximately 8 a.m. The flood barriers will remain in place until the rains subside.

The flood barriers are one part of the City’s robust RainReadySF strategy announced last fall at the start of this rainy season. The comprehensive flood resilience strategy streamlines emergency response protocols and provide residents and businesses with the resources they need to reduce the risk of flooding during a major rainstorm, including: 

  • SFPUC crews deep-clean catch basins using high-powered vacuum trucks throughout the year;
  • Storm Watch crews that proactively monitor low-lying areas of the City that are prone to flooding, even in the middle of the night and on weekends; 
  • Strike Teams on-call to clear leaves and debris from the top of the catch basin grates to help storm water drain more effectively during and after a storm event; 
  • The SFPUC’s improved Floodwater Grant Program, which reimburses eligible property owners up to $100,000 for flood protection upgrades to their home or business; 
  • Free Sandbags from SF Public Works Operation Yard at 2323 Cesar Chavez; and 
  • Adopt a Drain SF program in which residents can adopt a drain one of the City’s 25,000 storm drains and help keep them clean and free of debris. San Franciscans have adopted more than 2200 drains to date.

The SFPUC is also working with other City departments and the Board of Supervisors to further incorporate flood resilience requirements into San Francisco neighborhoods over time, such as: 

  • Better flood maps to inform property owners of potential flood risks; 
  • Building code changes for new construction standards in flood areas; and 
  • Flood-protection requirements for property sales and renovations.

How Property Owners Can get RainReady

The SFPUC conducts targeted outreach to SF residents and businesses who are directly impacted by flooding in low-lying areas throughout the year, especially before a major weather event. In addition to services offered through the RainReadySF program, residents and businesses are urged to take proactive steps to protect their properties by elevating belongings and moving vehicles to higher ground. The best way to report issues such as localized flooding, sewage backup, or clogged catch basins is to contact 311 at, on the mobile app for Android and iPhone, or by calling 3-1-1.

For more information about SFPUC's initatives, please contact