SF businesses frustrated to see flood damage

Byby Tiffany Wilson KGO logo
Friday, December 5, 2014
SF businesses frustrated to see flood damage
This week's storm brought the fourth flood in recent years to some San Francisco businesses.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Throughout the Bay Area, people are still cleaning up after two days of stormy weather. While city crews in the Mission continue to sanitize and clean flooded businesses around Folsom Street other crews are busy repairing the massive sinkhole that opened up Wednesday on Lake Street and 6th Avenue, near the Richmond District.

Crews started laying in large sections of pipe, but they say it won't be until Tuesday that the intersection will be reopened.

The sinkhole isn't the only sewer related setback in San Francisco. All along Folsom and 17th Street, you can find evidence of the aging system's failures. Everlane's warehouse manager spent the day sorting through soggy sweaters. He plans to clean and donate damaged merchandise. He thinks someone may want them and it's better than them going into the landfill.

Next door, Pseudo Studio estimates flood damage at $100,000. Much of their Christmas merchandise was destroyed by sewage-tainted water. They say 200 cutting boards are gone.

Last time it flooded, Tudlik Moerk from Pseudo Studio says it took the city six months to pay the claim. He told ABC7 News, "I find that more frustrating than the water in some ways, the length of time that it takes for them to help us recoup our losses."

Progress is evident. Hans Art Automotive reopened Thursday. Stable Caf's kitchen looks much better than before, but still nowhere near ready for customers.

Assistance cleaning up isn't good enough for Maryann Robertson from Pacific Interment Service. She wants the storm-fueled floods to stop. She said, "The interruption in business is an incredible burden."

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission says they offered businesses a grant to help install back flow preventers last year. The agency says "Unfortunately, nobody really wanted to take us up on it."

Robertson said she looked into it and even asked multiple plumbers about installing a back flow preventer. She said, "They said it will not work because there's too much water."

For now, crews in coveralls dominate the sidewalk, next to piles of damaged or destroyed goods. It's the fourth flood in recent years. This row of business owners say only the city can prevent a fifth.