Flood Barriers. Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Once again the sewers at 17th and Folsom streets overflowed early Friday morning and there was some flooding at the shops and apartment houses in the area.

In response the city set up flood barriers, a reaction that at least one nearby businesses felt was ineffective and overkill.

“They have a certain idea when it’s gong to flood that doesn’t relate to reality,” said Hans Art of Hans Art Automotive on 17th Street. “It overflows under very odd specific things that have nothing to do with the length of the storm.”

It is generally a downpour for more than 10 minutes that overwhelms the capacity of the sewers, he said.  That happened early this morning, he suspected, with the 3 a.m. cloudburst.

The area, he said, experienced flooding that was a mini-version of the 2014 storm that flooded virtually all of the businesses with sewage, closing some for months.

The problem with the flood barriers, which the city set up today, is that you have to open and close them to get into businesses and if there is just one open, the barriers become ineffective, Art said.

Instead, he said, he hopes the city follows through with its plan to fix what is essentially a really bad plumbing problem.

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Founder/Executive Editor. I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.

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1 Comment

  1. It isn’t just the Mission that is getting hit by sewer flooding. Reports of damage are pouring in from all over town. The storm hit the same neighborhoods it always does: 17th & Folsom, Alemany at Folsom, Cayuga Ave in Mission Terrace, 15th Ave at Wawona, Ingleside Terrace.

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