Collapsed roads, flooded houses, sewage overflow: What the Bay Area is dealing with post storm

"I'm pretty stressed out right now...I'm not sure what we're going to do from here."

ByABC7 News Staff KGO logo
Tuesday, January 3, 2023
East Bay recovering from storm damage, flooding
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As a break in the rain came Monday morning, parts of East Bay are still trying to recover from the New Year's Eve storm.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Cities across the Bay Area are starting the new year dealing with the severe impacts of the New Year's Eve storm.

As a break in the rain came Monday morning, people are trying to recover, especially ahead of another strong incoming storm on Wednesday.

East Bay flood damage

The Redwood Canyon Golf Course, along Redwood Road in Castro Valley, was still partially underwater Monday morning and will remain shut down until further notice.

Crow Canyon Road closed to through traffic because of several landslides.

"It used to be pretty, pretty and now it's pretty messed up," Zaw Shein, a Castro Valley resident said.

TIMELINE: Flood Watch issued for entire Bay Area for Wednesday, Thursday ahead of strong storm

But the damage the San Lorenzo Creek did along A Street near Crescent Avenue caused part of the road to fall into the creek.

"We were like 'ope, that's it, no more!" Shein said.

Shein and his family had a front-row seat to the storm.

"Our downstairs was done and we have to keep watching to see if we need to evacuate so that was kind of the situation that we were in," he said.

His backyard, now a pool of mud, losing multiple trees and part of his fence, flooding his basement and leaving the condition of his Jacuzzi, still up in the air.

"The room over there that the water went in, and it's all muddy right now, all the carpet's gone," he said. "We've got some exercise equipment in there, it's all messed up now too, yeah so it's pretty bad."

RELATED: Oakland Zoo temporarily closes due to sinkhole until Jan. 17 at the earliest

But as of Monday morning, his family is still unable to reach their insurance company because of the new year's holiday.

"I'm pretty stressed out right now, because I don't know where to start to fix these things, this is actually my first time facing this kind of stuff so I'm not sure what we're going to do from here," he said.

As they work to assess the damage and contact their insurance company, what they're really concerned about is more rain expected over the next several days.

East Bay authorities warn people to protect homes ahead of Wednesday storm

Danville had historic flooding on Saturday. Some neighborhoods saw three to four feet of water gushing through their streets. Firefighters rescued several families using kayaks.

Contra Costa County fire officials want residents to take action to protect their homes ahead of this week's rain.

"It looks like we are in for some very welcomed, of course, rain, but there are certainly going to be some unwelcome consequences, as well. Now is the time I think for homeowners to do things to protect their properties," says Steve Hill with the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

His advice is to clean out gutters and clear the lines to the street as well. He also reminds residents to check storm drains, which may be blocked by leaves and debris. Finally, get sandbags to protect against flooding.

Sewage overflow impacts neighborhood

On the peninsula, San Mateo County is warning people to stay away from local beaches until there's at least three days of clear weather.

Officials say sewage is impacting the coast.

On Sunday, Residents in one Pacifica neighborhood were cleaning up after experiencing sewage flooding.

"We started flooding here from the sanitary sewer which is toilets and showers and eventually this entire block was flooded and you know it just smelled horrible," Dan Stegink said.

Stegink captured video of the rising waters and gushing sewers.

"What's happening is it's all pulling up here," Stegink said. "The sewage is overflowing and going into the storm drain and quite frankly it's just disgusting - it's not good for the fish and it's not good for the people."

VIDEO: Epic cleanup begins after New Year's Eve flooding submerges SF businesses

San Mateo County Health Department put out an alert - saying sewage has impacted ocean and bay waters - advising people not to swim.

"Once they turned on the pumps it cleared in about an hour and came down and of course the sewage continued bubbling out of the manhole for about five more hours afterwards," Stegink said.

Toilet paper was still caked to the road.

"You look down these streets and it's completely littered with toilet paper and fecal matter," Mike Sutton, another concerned resident, said.

He says the water rose quickly.

"We were moving cars, vehicles and the whole nine yards," Sutton said.

Tara Campbell: "Were you worried about your home?

Mike Sutton: "Absolutely, I have kids in here and now everything's contaminated with fecal matter - the entire neighborhood. We contacted county health and they said you can't have kids or pets in contact with this and you should clean it up."

As the cleanup from the weekend storm continues, preparation for another on Wednesday is already underway in cities across the Peninsula.

Humza Javed is the director of the East Palo Alto Public Works Department. He says the city has been in communication with local partners all day.

"We have all of our maintenance crews on call. We've cleared out some of our localized areas, our hotspots," Javed said.

One of those hotspots is the San Franciscquito Creek.

"There's a lot of debris in the creek itself. So we're trying to work with our partners to get some of the debris cleared out of the creek so it doesn't hinder the flow as the new storm kicks in," said Javed.

VIDEO: Peninsula officials say stay off the roads during next storm

But it's not just city agencies that are gearing up.

Fire Marshal Jon Johnston of the Menlo Park Fire District says individuals should also be taking precautions ahead of Wednesday's potentially record breaking storm.

"You are fully stocked up and prepared at home for any power outages that may occur with any trees falling," Johnston said.

In addition to having supplies, Johnston says staying off the roads is also a good idea.

During last weekend's storm, several people got stranded on Highway 101 in South San Francisco after trying to get through a closed down portion of the freeway.

"That's where most of our, whether it's injuries or collisions are occurring, in standing water that people are trying to drive through," Johnston said.

That's why Johnston says being at home is the safest place to be when the new storm arrives.

"Play board games with the family, keep an eye on the news, but stay prepared at home so we are able to respond to the proper emergencies and not responding to you as an emergency," said Johnston.

San Francisco prepares for the next storm

Monday night rain fell in San Francisco as many were preparing for Wednesday's storm. City crews with the SFPUC used vacuum trucks and worked into the night cleaning out storm drains, or what is known as catch basins that drain water.

"We have about 25,000 of these catch basins and they'll literally vacuum and suck up trash leaves and debris throughout the city, so that these catch basins can do their job," said Joe Sweiss with the SFPUC.

Workers inside the Everlane Clothing building on Folsom Street were busy cleaning Monday night. They tell us flood waters poured into the Everland HQ location last weekend. They're hoping they can get the building cleaned out, and sandbags set in place as soon as possible.

"As a San Franciscan I'm not really prepared for the rain because it never rains here until now of course," said Abigail Sanchez.

Power outages hurt businesses

The East Bay and the Central Valley were the hardest hit, but high winds and downed trees contributed to power outages.

PG&E have been working around the clock to restore service.

RELATED: 1 dead, dozens rescued after cars caught in flood waters on Hwy 99 in Sacramento Co.

Sapore Italiano restaurant in Burlingame was without power for two days. The owner bought a back up generator to run the kitchen after constant outages.

But that wasn't enough to save more than $10,000 in spoiled food.

"Oh my God it's a lot of money for a single owner you know a small business here it's a lot of money," owner Elio D'urzo said.

It's the restaurant's busiest time of year. The back up generator helped with service for local customers but the outage drove away online bookings.

PG&E restored power to the restaurant Sunday night.

ABC7 News reporters Tara Campbell, Lena Howland, Anser Hasan, Tim Johns and J.R. Stone contributed to this article.

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