Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Crime & Emergencies
Published on January 06, 2017
San Francisco Braces For Strong Winds, Heavy RainfallPhoto: jimkillock/Flickr

With up to five inches of rain and winds gusting at 50 MPH on the way this weekend, city officials are bracing city infrastructure for downed trees, mudslides, flash flooding and power outages. Here's what to expect.

In addition to organizing preparations with PG&E, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, the SFFD and SFPD have staffed up their weekend roster to deal with potential traffic diversions, fires and downed power lines.

Residents can collect up to 10 free sandbags, free of charge, at 2323 Cesar Chavez St. from 8am-2pm Saturday and Sunday with proof of residency.

The SFPUC will install flood barriers at 17th and Folsom, to prevent flooding.

SF Rec & Parks will have tree crews on standby to deal with downed trees.

The Homeless Outreach Team will be out offering rides to homeless shelters. The city has added 75 beds to winter storm shelters: 25 at St. Vincent De Paul Society (525 5th St.) and 50 at Episcopal Community Services (1001 Polk St.), both available by waiting in line at 535 5th St.

And on top of all that, the city has issued the following safety precautions to bear in mind:

  • If you experience a power outage, please report the outage by calling 1-800-743-5002. In addition, please do not use candles to light your home.
  • Keep an eye on your curbside storm drain; if it gets backed up and you can safely clear it, please do. If not please call 3-1-1.
  • If there is a chance of flash flooding, get to higher ground immediately.
  • Avoid walking or driving through floodwater.
  • Water can conceal downed power lines and debris.
  • 6 inches of moving water can sweep you off your feet.
  • Less than 2 feet of moving water can sweep away a vehicle.
  • If you have any outdoor furniture, please tie it down or move it inside.
  • If you see downed trees, debris in the road or on sidewalks, or flooded roadways, please call 3-1-1.
  • If you see wires down, please call 9-1-1.
  • Move hazardous chemicals, such as paint, cleaning products, or pesticides off the floor or to higher levels to avoid potential release and contamination.

So batten the hatches, stay in if you can and keep safe.

[Ed. note: Can this week's storm really be considered "biblical" in its proportions? Many readers didn't think so, and with 40 concurrent days of rain not in the forecast, the headline has been amended.]