Working Hard to Prepare San Francisco for Stormy Weather

One inch or more within 24 hours. This is how much rain it takes to activate a Stormwatch, which brings together staff from the SFPUC, SF Public Works, and city departments to minimize the impacts to San Francisco. 

Severe weather bringing heavy rains were forecasted this week and the SFPUC is working hard to prepare, day and night.  In this series, we will share the different ways the SFPUC is working to minimize the impact.

“Cleaning catch basins, deploying the flood barriers and making sure the people of San Francisco are aware of all the resources available to get rain ready,” shares Steve Jones, Superintendent of Facilities and Emergency Response who has for 30 years worked rain or shine.  Mr. Jones oversees crews that recently deployed flood barriers at the intersection of 17th and Folsom Streets in San Francisco’s Mission District in advance of stormy weather.

“We try to deploy barriers before the rain, so we avoid traffic. It’s less disruptive and safer for our crews,” said Alan Keel, a Chief Stationary Engineer at the Southeast Treatment Plant. 

The SFPUC cleans catch basins and deploys Vac-Con vehicles to remove debris around the clock during a Stormwatch event which is triggered by severe weather and stormy conditions.

“I’m very proud to see the teamwork between [our] different groups and the City family during the most recent Stormwatch activation and preemptive deployment of barriers on Monday night; it just shows how the training and prep work all came together,” said Mr. Jones. 

The crew had pallets fabricated to refine how they stack the flood barriers, making it easier to unload and load them, so that they could work more safely and efficiently.  

“People can rest assured. This team is prepared with information and knowledge, to make sure our staff is doing everything possible to protect our families and yours. This is what we do for our city,” said Mr. Jones.