Rainy weather prompts flood warnings

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The windy weather and strong storms this week has San Francisco officials preparing for the worst — possible flooding and erosion.

This weekend, San Francisco Department of Public Works officials issued a declaration of emergency to protect the bluffs along the Great Highway, prompted by concerns of further erosion. The agency already realigned the southbound lanes of the highway south of Sloat Boulevard.

The declaration does nothing more than allow the agency to expedite the work needed to prevent further erosion on the roadway, said Gloria Chan, spokeswoman for the DPW.

“It doesn’t mean it’s more dangerous,” Chan said Sunday morning. “We know these storms are coming in and so we are just monitoring.”

But residents can expect to see crews in the next few weeks working along that stretch of roadway between Sloat Boulevard and the end of Ocean Beach.

The second of four potent storm systems rolled through the Bay Area on Sunday, causing sporadic showers and gusts of wind. By Tuesday, expect four to five inches of rain and winds peaking at 45 mph. By Friday, there could be as much as eight inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service.

“There is a possibility of flooding,” said Bob Benjamin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “A lot of California is coming under the influence of these storm systems, causing potential for widespread concerns.”

Also over the weekend, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission issued a flood-risk alert to prepare residents and businesses for potential flooding. The City has put storm weather responders on standby in anticipation of storms.

As of Sunday, there were no problems, however officials are encouraging residents who have had experiences with past flooding to get sandbags. Also, if residents notice clogged storm drains, they should call 311.

“Of course, everyone in this region is watching this week because there is supposed to be very heavy downpours,” said Maureen Barry, spokeswoman with the SFPUC. “Things are wait-and-see.”

esherbert@sfexaminer.com

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