Vulnerable communities prepare for next storms

November 29, 2012 1:49:36 PM PST
Several Bay Area communities especially vulnerable to approaching winter storms are taking new action to protect themselves.

The images from two years ago were unbelievable and unforgettable. About 60 feet in Pacifica disappeared and two apartment buildings on Esplanade Avenue were condemned. Yet, as storms roll into the Bay Area, officials say they aren't worried about a repeat performance.

"We haven't seen any advanced erosion or continued erosion since we were here two years ago, really," said Pacifica's chief building official Doug Rider. "We made it through two winters."

320 and 330 Esplanade are still empty. Costs have prevented the owners from taking steps to protect the apartments. But the building next door is still full of residents who love living there. The owner has taken steps to stabilize the hillside, and has more plans in the works.

"The work that the people did in this area to secure it as best they could, seems to have an effect," Rider said.

A newer problem exists in Daly City. A hillside came roaring down into the neighborhood just two weeks ago when a pipe broke.

"So we were kinda worried that, you know, more mud will flow," Daly City resident Vrina Orozco said. "So, I look at the weather."

City officials tell ABC7 News they feel confident the hillside will hold. And if it doesn't, that the measures they've put in place will steer the mud to the park and away from homes.

Still, Orozco's family plans to sleep in shifts so someone will always be watching the hill, "Have this person watch, and this other person will sleep, like, take half, four hour sleep, and he'll take over, so we kinda work it out that way," Orozco said.

Daly City officials say they will be watching too, they'll be stopping by to keep an eye on the hillside during the storms.

In Pacifica, however, that will not be the case. Rider tells ABC7 News he's that confident that he will not be stopping by there this weekend. He says he knows that if there are any problems, the residents will give him a call right away.

Parts of Great Highway in SF closed

Right now part of the Great Highway in San Francisco is shut down because of storms. Strong winds sent sand blowing across the road Wednesday. And so far, the city has decided the conditions were too dangerous to reopen it.

Drivers are not being allowed to travel between Lincoln and Sloat in either direction. No word yet when it will re-open.


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