Storm ahead; SF issues heavy rain and strong wind warnings

Prepare yourselves, San Francisco, as heavy rain is anticipated Saturday and strong winds of up to 50 mph are expected this weekend.

That’s the message from San Francisco’s Department of Emergency Management, which is advising San Franciscans to prepare for a potential storm.

A strong cold front will approach the Bay Area Saturday afternoon and evening, according to the National Weather Service. A wind advisory starts midday Saturday, with strong southern wind gusts from 30 to 50 mph, according to the weather service.

“Light rain Saturday morning will become more widespread and heavy later Saturday afternoon and evening,” the weather service wrote in an advisory.

Showers will end by midnight Saturday, then pick up again with “possible thunderstorms” on Sunday with more steady rainfall, according to the weather service.

The last day of rainfall could be Monday.

Francis Zamora, a spokesman for the Department of Emergency management, laid out potential weather hazards in a statement.

“With heavy rain comes the potential for power outages, downed trees, flooded storm drains, flash floods, and mudslides,” Zamora wrote.

Some of those hazards arose Friday morning, when a large tree fell just shy of hitting a car and a Muni bus on Sacramento and Arguello streets.

Firefighters at the scene said no one was injured when the tree fell.

The department also said the Pier 80 homeless shelter was expanded, and spaces are being filled now by the Department of Public Health’s Homeless Outreach Team.

The Human Services Agency will open two emergency pop-up shelters for those caught in the storm, one at the Hall of Flowers in the San Francisco County Fair Building, at 1199 Ninth Ave. And another will open at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, at 99 Grove Street.

The Department of Emergency Management also offered the following storm preparedness tips:

· San Francisco Public Works is offering San Francisco residents up to 10 free sandbags each for pickup at its operations yard, 2323 Cesar Chavez Street (Marin/Kansas street gate), Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

· 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 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.

· 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 are experiencing a life-threatening emergency please call 9-1-1.

· For more information and emergency alerts sent via text message please text ‘AlertSF’ to 888-777.

· For more emergency updates and information via social media please follow @SF_Emergency and @SF72org on Twitter, or @SF72org and @SFDEM on Facebook.

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