Series of storms bring erosion concerns to bluffs

January 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Residents in Pacifica are worried the storm will wash away even more of a crumbling cliffside. The combination of rain, gusty winds, and pounding waves are threatening the bluff.

The building at risk is not the problem in Pacifica, but rather the bluff nearby. Part of it is sinking quickly and they don't want people near the area. Part of the sidewalk is gone and more is expected to follow.

Overnight and on Tuesday morning, the rain did more damage to an eroding bluff in Pacifica. Part of the walkway simply crumbled. The property manager of one of the apartment buildings on Esplanade Avenue put up warning signs and temporary fencing to keep people out.

"Earlier this morning we lost most of the sidewalk Yesterday we had about 40 feet, today there is hardly any, all of it is gone, that's it," property manager Nasser Elsalhi said.

That didn't stop people from coming to look at the damage. In fact, a break in the weather brought out many to the area.

"We just have to put barricades to make it safer and try to keep people out. I don't know how much more we are going to take back. That's mother nature," Elsalhi said.

This precarious area is very near the apartment building that has been evacuated because of the unstable cliffside.

On Monday, crews drilled down 80 feet to beach level to assess the soil content. Now another crew out of Antioch will drill 50-foot injection anchors into the cliffside to keep it from swaying. A similar project was done to this hillside on Devil's Slide.

Just north along the Great Highway people stopped to watch the impressive high surfs. One of the lanes between Lincoln and Sloat Boulevard remains closed on Tuesday. If conditions get worse, both southbound lanes will be closed to traffic.

The rain and heavy winds also brought down some trees limbs and branches at the San Francisco Zoo.

Crews worked quickly to remove them and officials decided to close the park because of the debris and some flooding. The zoo will re-open on Wednesday.

Neighbors in Pacifica fear that the upcoming wind and rains will cause even more damage.