SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – In anticipation of heavy rain, one San Francisco neighborhood is getting some protection against flooding. The city is installing temporary flood barriers along a few blocks in the Mission District. The goal, of course, is to keep water out of homes and businesses.
It’s just a specific section of the Mission that’s getting these barriers because it’s a high flood-risk area. During the recent storms, businesses and homes along 17th Street and Folsom Street suffered severe flooding.
With no work on a permanent solution happening yet, these temporary barriers hope to prevent the worst.
“We really advocate for these to be put up even out of an abundance of caution,” said Santiago Lerma, a legislative aide to District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen
Lerma says 17th and Folsom is in one of the lowest points of the city and is a well-known flood zone. The area saw high water take over the streets last month. One business is still closed because of flooding damage.
“We understand the immense problem, inconvenience and tragedy that these floods can cause, so we really just want to make sure that we prevent that in the future,” Lerma said.
Lerma says these temporary barriers are a quick fix to an ongoing problem in the neighborhood. Folsom and 17th streets have long been waiting for a $300 million drainage improvement project to begin.
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But until that happens, temporary barriers will have to do. Some home and business owners are already preparing on their own.
“We are hoping that these continue to work. They have worked in the past to keep the houses from flooding. But getting a large infrastructure project in the city is a very difficult task,” Lerma said.
The frame signs along Folsom Street say the barriers will be up for as long as they’re needed. The city’s 311 also reminds people to remove and sweep any leaves and debris from sidewalks and storm drains to keep them from clogging.
After this story aired, we received an update from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. The city is beginning work on the project — which has been given a $300M price tag, not $200M as we initially stated — this fall with completion projected for 2027. The project has been dubbed the Folsom Area Stormwater Improvement Project.