San Francisco, CA – In anticipation of heavy rains this week, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is deploying temporary interlocking flood barriers along 17th and Folsom Streets, a low-lying area with increased flood risks.
Weather forecasters are predicting a series of storms to hit San Francisco over the next several days. The flood barriers will remain in place until the rains subside.
The flood barriers are part of the City’s robust RainReadySF program. 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.
To prepare for the rainy season, the agency has undertaken the following measures:
- Deployed crews to deep-clean catch basins using high-powered vacuum trucks.
- Assigned employees to proactively monitor low-lying areas of the City that are prone to flooding, even in the middle of the night and on weekends.
- Assembled on-call teams to clear leaves and debris from the top of the catch basin grates to help stormwater drain more effectively during and after a storm event.
In addition, the SFPUC offers a Floodwater Grant Program, which reimburses eligible property owners up to $100,000 for flood protection upgrades to their home or business and the agency collaborates with SF Public Works to provide free sandbags, which are available at the Public Works Operation Yard at 2323 Cesar Chavez Street. Renters and property owners can also purchase low-cost flood insurance. More information on steps San Franciscans can take to get rain ready are at sfwater.org/RainReadySF.
In 2016, the SFPUC launched its Adopt a Drain SF Program, an undertaking that allows San Franciscans to “adopt” one of the City’s 25,000 drains (or catch-basins) with the pledge that they will clean and maintain the fixtures to reduce the risk of flooding. Last week, the agency announced its Drain-in-Need initiative, a new data-driven effort to identify the City’s catch-basins most in need of maintenance and cleaning.
The SFPUC is also continuing to work 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.
- Flood-protection requirements for property sales and renovations.
How Property Owners Can Get Rain Ready
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 https://sf311.org/, on the app for Android and iPhone, or by calling 3-1-1.
Individuals interested in adopting a drain can visit adoptadrain.sfwater.org to find out more information.