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More Rain in the Forecast as Stormwatch Continues

SFPUC VacCon crews ready to deploy before the storms.
  • Sabrina Suzuki

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) has been tracking the storm, with scattered showers and heavier rains predicted through the weekend. Our Strike teams have been strategically positioned throughout San Francisco, combing the streets, clearing catch basins, and canvassing low-lying areas that are prone to flooding.

On Tuesday, January 3, Mayor London Breed activated the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), coordinating response efforts with the SFPUC’s Department Operation Center (DOC).“We’ve been busy, but we’ve also been dry. I commended SFPUC field crews for the dedication they put into their work during inclement weather, and every day," said Josh Gale, SFPUC DOC Manager.

While the rain has stopped to give us a little bit of a break, Daniel Whitlock, the Stormwatch Team’s Incident Commander, reiterates that long before a storm hits, they are tracking the storm, aware that the forecast could change in a blink of an eye. Based on the forecast and historical data, the Stormwatch Team makes educated decisions on how and when to deploy resources. 

“Sewer Operations is out there doing what they do best. The Strike Teams are deployed to support them. Meanwhile, the Stormwatch Team communicates with our DOC and City partners. This is what we prepare for all year long," notes Daniel Whitlock, Stormwatch Incident Commander. “A lot of folks don’t realize it, but our staff is working around the clock, during holidays, and some voluntarily, servicing the city during the heavy rains. There may be potential flooding in some parts of the City, and we never know what to expect. We really appreciate that staff continues to bring their hard work and dedication to the job.” 

Before and after photo of a storm drain
Photo of a storm drain before and after cleaning.

What You Can Do to Help

What San Franciscans can do to help sewer crews is very simple: only flush the three P’s down the toilet. And no, grease doesn’t belong in the kitchen sinks either – compost it or re-use it. Simple steps allow sewer crews more time and resources to quickly respond to emergencies and perform critical sewer repair and replacement work.

You can also join thousands of local volunteers and adopt a drain and pledge to keep it free of debris. 

Our crews get notified via SF311 - the primary customer service center for the City of San Francisco, available 24/7. It’s the best way to submit water, sewer or power issues (or other non-emergency issues in SF) at any time of the day. Crews get dispatched and address the issue rain or shine.