San Francisco dispatches extra crews ahead of storm

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco Public Utility Commission crews have started assembling and filing flood barriers in preparation for the big storm set to hit the Bay Area over the weekend.

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They're using them in hopes of channeling water away from homes at flood prone intersections.

"They're big plastic interlocking barriers and we're piloting them," said Jean Walsh of the SFPUC. "We're still looking at how effective they are and trying to determine if we're going to roll out on a larger basis."

The crews will be on call 24 hours a day through the weekend to keep an eye on the barriers and they deployed large vacuum trucks to help clear out storm drains that get stopped up.

Plenty of sand bags are packed and ready for pick up at the San Francisco Public Works Yard at Kansas and Marin streets.

"One of the big things we're doing for the public this weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday is giving up to 10 free sandbags for San Francisco residents," said Rachel Gordon of SF Public Works.

They will also mobilize lots of extra personnel.

"We're going to have tree crews, arborists out, general laborers will be out to help clear debris if that needs to be done," said Gordon. "We'll also have our engineers and street inspectors on call if there's a landslide or mudslide or big sink hole, we'll be there to take care of the problem."

Extra dispatchers are being brought on to field 911 emergency calls as well as 311 calls to make sure crews get to where they're needed.

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The city is also opening up extra beds at homeless shelters. Anyone looking for those resources can visit the city drop in center at Bryant and 5th streets.

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