Despite downed wires, fallen trees and serious flooding in parts of the Bay Area, businesses around the Mission’s most flood-prone spot on 17th and Folsom streets reported no aftereffects.
— San Francisco Fire (@sffdpio) January 8, 2017
When heavy rains fall on the city, topography combines with the city’s decades-old sewer system to bring sewer overflows to the intersection.
“When we get a sustained downpour, the pipes down here aren’t big enough,” said Hans Art of Hans Art Automotive on 17th Street. Water flows up from both inside and outside the auto shop, but the biggest threat is from backflow flooding the streets, and Art said the shop staff have about 60 seconds to shut their main door in serious flooding conditions.
Art has also raised the ground level of his side yard to prevent water from flowing into neighboring yards.
But this weekend, with plastic interlocking flood barriers deployed and sandbags arranged, four businesses reported no serious water intrusion (though one suffered leaky windows). A resident of the street called it “lucky” that water had bubbled up from underground pipes but not flowed over the sidewalk into the area under his house.
The winds did more damage – on 20th Street near Guerrero, a tree had fallen on top of a car and smashed its rear. Neighbors said the car, with its rear window obliterated, had subsequently been looted.