Sandbags and sheets of plastic block doors and garages. The street is wet.
Folsom Street prepares for flooding with sandbags. Photo taken Jan. 9, 2023 by Eleni Balakrishnan

Another long story short: There will be a troublesome deluge tonight and tomorrow, but not a dangerous one, and definitely not a downpour like the one we saw on New Year’s Eve. That’s the word from John P. Monteverdi, professor emeritus of meteorology at San Francisco State University.

“The thing that came through last night, right behind it was a second wave,” he said, regarding yesterday’s storm. “Most people wouldn’t even realize that a second wave came in. But now that’s delayed.” 

The delayed rainfall should reach San Francisco around 11 p.m., with the heaviest band hitting around 3 or 4 a.m. on Tuesday. It looks like there will be some very intense showers and even thunderstorms all the way through Tuesday afternoon, although there will be intermittent breaks. Overnight precipitation in San Francisco could be a half inch to an inch, far lower than the 5.54 inches the city got on Dec. 31.

Considering that the city has plenty of time to dry out before the rain starts again late tonight, Monteverdi doesn’t think San Franciscans have much to worry about, for now. The situation, however,  is different in less urbanized areas. Given that the soil is saturated, “the hillsides are ready to go,” he said. “That’s happening already. Each successive rain, even if it isn’t a lot, is causing some mudslides and debris flows around the area.”  

After the rain late tonight and tomorrow, it looks like there’ll be a break until Saturday.

Residents in the Mission said on Monday morning that they hadn’t experienced any issues over the weekend, even in the low-lying area of 17th and Folsom, where flooding is a recurring problem. 

“It was okay, not too bad,” said a kitchen employee at Stable Cafe, which is set to reopen on Tuesday after being closed since Jan. 1. Stable flooded in the New Year’s Eve storm, which the employee said was “very bad — but this time, it was okay.” 

Sandbags were still stacked high at doors and garage entrances, and some businesses had makeshift wooden planks serving as dams in case of flooding. City-issued flood barriers sat ready along the 17th and Folsom southwest corner, but it appears they haven’t yet been needed. 

At Gallardo’s and Robin’s Cafe, two locations that have also been historically affected by flooding, workers said that all was well. 

The homeless residents living in tents behind Best Buy have also stayed dry. A joint field operation launched by five city departments blew through the place last Thursday, transporting 11 homeless people to indoor accommodations and relocating fewer than a dozen from the north side of Alameda Street to the south side of the same street. 

This morning, several blue tents that housed seven residents were scattered on both sides of the street, seemingly intact after last night’s downpour.

At 10 a.m., Amanda, a 41-year-old living at the encampment, said she had just woke up from a night of sound sleep.

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REPORTER. Yujie Zhou is our newest reporter and came on as an intern after graduating from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. She is a full-time staff reporter as part of the Report for America program that helps put young journalists in newsrooms. Before falling in love with the Mission, Yujie covered New York City, studied politics through the “street clashes” in Hong Kong, and earned a wine-tasting certificate in two days. She’s proud to be a bilingual journalist. Follow her on Twitter @Yujie_ZZ.

REPORTER. Eleni reports on policing in San Francisco. She first moved to the city on a whim more than 10 years ago, and the Mission has become her home. Follow her on Twitter @miss_elenius.

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1 Comment

  1. Campers!
    Remember the basics.
    • Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
    •. Food (at least a several-day supply of non-perishable food)
    • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
    • Flashlight
    • First aid kit

    Go Niners!

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