San Francisco crews put out flood barriers ahead of storm

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Crews in the city are on call, ready to respond to whatever the storm may bring. At 17th and Folsom Street, crews have been installing 120 flood barriers in hopes of keeping the water out of apartment buildings and businesses. (KGO-TV)

Crews in the city are on call, ready to respond to whatever the storm may bring. At 17th and Folsom Street, crews have been installing 120 flood barriers in hopes of keeping the water out of apartment buildings and businesses in the notoriously low-lying area, which will be staffed around the clock until this storm is over.

"I don't know. I was just shocked. I just like walked out and they were there," said Case Sandberg, a resident of Folsom Street.

While a $200 million overhaul of the drainage system is planned for the neighborhood, the so-called flood-stop flood barriers are being put in place during heavy storms until then.

"To be extra careful, we advise folks to elevate their belongings if they feel like they might be at risk for experiencing some flooding and make sure to call 311 if they're experiencing any issues with their storm basins or with flooding in their home," said Cindy Chu, spokesperson for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

RELATED: Incoming storm stokes flooding fears in North Bay Fire burn zones

The SFPUC has been doing what it can to spread the word about keeping those catch basins clear. Crews have been trying to stay on top of them, but SFPUC has also assigned nearly 2,000 of the city's 25,000 storm drains to volunteers, residents who've committed to clearing them themselves.

The Department of Public Works has also been gearing up for the approaching storm. Sandbags are ready to be distributed at its Kansas and Marin Street location. Each resident gets ten for free. But beyond flooding, another concern is downed trees. Arborist crews are on standby.



"We also know that in the first rains of the season, trees are little more vulnerable to failure because the ground loosens up so we might have some downed trees especially if they're going to be high winds," said Rachel Gordon, spokesperson for the San Francisco Department of Public Works.

If residents spot a tree or limb that looks vulnerable to falling, they're encouraged to call 311.

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