Bay Area residents prepare for possible wet winter

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- People across the Bay Area are getting ready for what is expected to be a wet winter because of the warming water in the Pacific near Peru -- a weather condition called El Nino.

In preparation of Wednesday's rainstorm, sandbags are lining some doorways in San Francisco's Mission District. Business owner Brian Gorman remembers when heavy rain last December left his music school, Rock Band Land, underwater due to flooding. The start of the rainy weather is a nervous time for many businesses owners like him.

"We've increased our insurance and we'll be sandbagging again, and taking whatever precautions we can, but there's only so much you can do when nature wants to hit," Gorman said.

Jeff Parker at the Urban Farmer Store is keeping up with demand to harvest rainwater. He is selling 50-gallon barrels, but they are free to San Francisco residents who qualify for a drought saving program by the Public Utilities Commission.

Parker says you can, "Water your plants with it, you can wash car with it, you can flush toilets with it."

If you want to go big, there are also giant 600-gallon rain catcher units that are for sale for $1,300.

Moira Wilmes is hoping to capture all the rain she can. She said, "We have a garden. We're trying to grow our own vegetables, some fruits in our yards and we have a tree, a plum tree, so we're just trying to keep those things alive."

The CHP is warning drivers to slow down on the wet roads, expect traffic delays and accidents, and give yourself lots of time to get to work or school.
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