The National Weather Service reported almost 2 inches of rain in less than 24 hours in the San Francisco area, and the Mission was no outlier.
Samuel Picaso has lived in and managed a Folsom Street and 17th Street apartment complex for 42 years, and every autumn, Picaso worries about flooding from downpours like the one that swept through the Northern California region early this morning.
Picaso spent his morning bailing out portions of his ground floor apartment. He wore tall black galoshes that squeaked on the cement in his office. The floor was streaked with mud and slick with rainwater. In his backyard, the water reached his knees.
Around Picaso’s home, dozens of storefronts and residences were lined with sandbags to keep rising water on the street from making its way in to basements and first floor dwellings.
Last year’s rain brought two and a half feet of water into Picasso’s first floor home. He has a photo of himself swimming in his garage, and he recalls seeing rats doing the same. The water came from 18th street and 16th street sewage system.
As Mission Local reported in May, the clogged sewer responsible for repeated flooding along Folsom St. is nothing new.
“My wife and I used to worry, and get nervous because of the rain,” he said. “We couldn’t sleep because of the stress.”
He said the city helped him remove the water from his property for the first time last year. Before that, he cleaned and restored his apartment by himself.
Picaso stood outside of his apartment and waited for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to help him pump water out of his home and backyard. The flooding in his home may take weeks to repair, and many of his possessions and furniture are ruined from exposure to dirty, smelly water.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission offers water and sewer emergency service here.