After last week’s flood crisis, we have been paying VERY close attention to the weather outlook, by the hour, every single day. Yes, I’ve been a little obsessive about it.
Many of you now know that there’s a predication from weather forecasters that an enormous storm (biggest since 2008 — bigger than last week’s storm) is expected to hit the area this week – as early as tomorrow. We first learned about this next storm on Sunday, and we have been working hard to get ready for it ever since.
Just to keep you all updated, here are the things we have been doing to prepare for the next weather event and to prevent flood damages:
Multiple calls to DPW/PUC via 311.org (generating least four confirmation numbers from us alone — other businesses have also called) for requests to clean the drain & surrounding area on DPW lot behind our property (which was the cause of the flooding here). One of these calls this am was to request to get a pallet of sandbags be delivered to Napoleon Street so that business owners can protect their property and to have sandbags piled along the property line to protect us from the flooding in the DPW lot behind us. We all have some sandbags installed in front of our units since last week (we went and got them until they closed and ran out of bags Friday night). SFRAW shared with others here, and we don’t have enough for our unit to be 100% protected (we thought we could run back to get more, but when we did, they were closed & when we called, they said they were out of them).We have been putting the sandbags we do have & tarps down every night since we got the unit cleaned up last Thursday. We tried to get more yesterday and they were out; this am they were out and we called to learn they may have some by 1pm today. We will be there to get what we can at 1pm.
Multiple calls to our business location’s local supervisor, Malia Cohen’s office to ask that they put pressure on the PUC & DPW to adequately clean the area that flooded last week and put sandbags in place around the drain so that it won’t clog again, stack sandbags along the property line so that flood waters/debris do not flow into our property from the DPW lot, and provide us (and other businesses in this location) with more sandbags for our individual businesses:
Supervisor Malia Cohen
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
City Hall, Room 244
San Francisco, Ca 94102-4689
They have made calls to DPW and PUC but the work that was done to clear the drain and surrounding area to prevent flooding was totally inadequate. They have come twice now and have scraped off the top of the drain grate only, leaving significant amounts of mud, debris, trash (including tires and pieces of wood) within just feet of the drain — this debris will immediately clog the drain with this next storm and we WILL experience another flood if this is not cleared and fortified properly.
The most frustrating thing about this is we know the storm is on it’s way (and it is expected to be big — of course, it might be nothing when it comes down to it – you never know with weather, but you have to prepare to prevent disasters whenever you have the opportunity to do so!), they have the means to clean their own lot (DPW employees park here every day!) and can take the necessary steps prevent this location from flooding — yet they have not done what they need to do to prevent this. The city will be liable for the damages we incurred last week (we are filing a claim against the city) and they will be responsible for any additional devastating damages to all of these small businesses located on this property from more flooding like this. They can prevent this from happening by fixing this issue, but they have not so far.
So — sandbags and tarps are installed but we need more of them. We have a sump pump & hoses ready to pump out the floor drains should we flood from the inside (which may happen; we need to be ready for this).
Yes, we also worked with our insurance broker to purchase flood coverage (rare for this area), but it will not go into effect for another 30 days.
Working with two members that are lawyers and someone experienced with insurance claims to work with our insurance agency/claims adjuster to see what we may find for coverage of our losses from last week.
Submitting a claim against the city of San Francisco.
Cleaned the drain located in our own parking lot of all debris (thank you, Alan & Miguel for doing this, by hand — it was totally gross and they found a piece of cement blocking the drain in there, too — so good thing we cleaned it out) and made sure it is not clogged going into this next storm; will place sandbags around the drain to prevent it from flooding, if we get the sandbags we ne.
UPDATE 11:30am: Spoke with Jared (manager at DPW) and he reserved an entire pallet of sandbags for our use to fortify our businesses and property – we borrowed a truck and rushed over to get them. When we arrived, we found a long line around the block of cars & trucks waiting to get sandbags; they were turning people away as they had run out already. We were lucky enough to get though to get the “Kasie Maxwell” pallet for the Napoleon Street businesses. When I returned from getting the sandbags, my landlord was here and he’s meeting a plumber to make sure the drain in our lot is clear for the storm (he said he’ll be charging us for this and it will be over $700). Then we saw a car and someone working on the drain in the lot behind us. It was Jared himself putting sandbags down around the drain. I know this is not the job he’s expected to do, but he took this on to do what he could to help. I appreciate his efforts, however, the area is still full of debris and he admitted they are not going to be able to fortify the boundary between the two properties to protect the water flow that will collect there from entering this property. He also noted the high water line on the building and seems genuinely concerned about how high the water got last time and the risk we are exposed to under these conditions. We will use this pallet of sandbags to do what we can here to protect us from flooding.
Hoping the storm is not as bad as expected and we’ll be just fine — maybe even that all this effort will equate a 100% flood-free experience in the next few days <fingers & toed crossed>. Hope the roof is in good shape to withstand the winds & we don’t have any leaks; hope the electricity holds and we don’t lose power (for the sake of our frozen/fresh foods).
Hope you and yours will weather the storms easily and that we can all enjoy some indoor, warm, snuggly time with our beloved family members/animals along with a good book or movie. Storms are great for this. Be safe & have fun walking your dogs out there!
Lastly, we hope to be here and open just fine this week (if all goes well & we stay dry & safe). Please make the trip over to come by to visit us. We plan to be OPEN as usual on Thursday 9am-7pm; Friday 9am-7pm; Sat 9am-5pm & Sunday 12-5pm. On this week’s receiving agenda: we’re getting a nice big pallet of GreenTripe on Thursday and expect to have lots of good things for you this week including a special delivery from Pastoral Plate of their killer smoked pork chops; BACON & 1/2 a share of their incredible lamb – in stock now, as of last night — this lamb is FRESH & absolutely out of this world delicious! Enjoy!