Crews work to avoid more erosion of Daly City hillside

November 14, 2012 5:57:44 PM PST
It's a race against the clock in Daly City, as engineers do all they can to shore up a saturated hillside before the rain arrives. A storm is expected later this week. The work done Wednesday is a temporary measure to avoid any more erosion.

As soon as daylight hit, crews began the laborious job of erosion control. First, shoving back mounds of dirt, then laying hay bales alongside the park to keep the water and more debris away from the street and homes once the rain begins.

"So we're just going to try to sustain it and keep it in the park itself, not to create a public nuisance for the neighbors by having more of the muddy water going down the street," Daly City Water Resources spokesperson Patrick Sweetland said.

The scene Tuesday in the Daly City neighborhood showed mud everywhere after a water pipe broke, sending 45,000 gallons of water into the neighborhood. Some cars were covered up to their wheels. A few residents were evacuated but were eventually allowed back inside.

On Wednesday the Department of Water and Wastewater Resources said crews are digging through the mud to clear a storm drain in the park. The idea is to divert the water into that storm drain. Straw waddles will help keep the drain clear of debris.

Neighbors say they trust what the city is telling them, "If there is anything about the integrity of the hill that we need to be worried about that they would tell us," resident Emmanuel Romero said. "I mean, they didn't tell us anything about that yesterday, so we're assuming things are safe for now.

Resident Elisa San Pedro added, "I don't think it will reach that far down, but I am concerned about the park. We had a beautiful park here."

A park now covered several feet deep in mud. A plan to permanently deal with that hillside is expected to be discussed later this week.

"Get that under control, and then once the rain subsides, see what the weather forecast looks like and then have a more defined plan about what it is we need to do to make permanent repairs," Sweetland said. For now, the city says neighbors have nothing to worry about, "Somebody asked me if I would sleep there," Sweetland said, "And I said yes I would."

The city still does not know why that pipe ruptured. They have not yet inspected the pipe, but say the city believes that age was a factor.


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