San Francisco residents were turned away this afternoon when the Department of Public Works ran out of sandbags due to high demand.
“The city means well but oftentimes promises more than what they can deliver,” said Jul Niemier, a Mission resident lucky enough to get the last 10 sand bags at 1:20 p.m.
With a storm predicted to start Monday, city officials decided to offer sandbags to help residents prevent flooding. The limit was 10 bags per address. When they ran out, city workers started collecting names and numbers to call residents when more supplies arrive.
Nevertheless, residents kept arriving at the public works yard to get the bags. So did the media.
Mohammed Nuru, deputy director of operations, showed up at the site and said 500 bags would be delivered in an hour. Nuru said they had given out 2,000 bags, but a worker said only 16 pallets of 50 bags each — or 800 bags — had arrived so far.
The rainy weather is predicted to start tonight and continue through Wednesday. The storm will bring wind gusts up to 40 mph, one to three inches of rain in coastal areas, and as many as five inches of rain in the hills, according to the National Weather Service Forecast.
“It is very unusual to run out so fast,” said Henry Luna, general laborer at the public works department. He was in charge of giving away the bags at the Department of Public Works Yard on Cesar Chavez Street. He said people arrived as early as 6 a.m.
Peter Nord, who lives near Dolores Park and works as a caregiver for an elderly lady, said his employer sent him to get bags. “She heard the news about the storm and her basement is below level so she wanted me to get some bags.”
Tina and Tony Botts, who were also turned away, said they hadn’t experienced flooding problems but wanted to get the bags just in case. “We live on a hill,” they said.