With expectations (and hopes) that this winter will bring an El Niño-infused deluge of rain to local drought-parched land, San Francisco is making preparations and response plans. National weather experts are predicting a 95 percent chance of El Niño, which could result in power outages, mud- and landslides, high winds, flooding, and, of course, heavy rainfall.
The city’s Human Services Agency will make an additional 1,100 beds available in emergency shelters throughout San Francisco; meals will be provided by agencies such as the Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels, and others. The health department will provide physical and mental health assistance.
About 10,000 sandbags have been distributed to the Marina, SOMA, Richmond, and other neighborhoods by San Francisco Public Works and the Public Utilities Commission. Those agencies are also clearing catch basins, pruning trees, and doing other storm preparation.
“Don’t wait for heavy rains to start preparing, especially in low-lying areas that have flooded in the past,” said San Francisco Public Utilities Comm-ission General Man-ager Harlan Kelly. “You can purchase flood insurance, elevate belongings, and during a storm clear clogged drains not draining due to debris.”