Clean up, repairs underway in San Francisco after citywide storm damage
SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco crews said Wednesday they are assessing and cleaning up the citywide damage caused by Tuesday's high winds and rain, including hundreds of fallen trees, power outages and major traffic disruptions.
Stormy conditions not only caused property damage, like glass and debris falling from high-rise buildings or 700 fallen trees and limbs -- it also resulted in two deaths.
Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital is also one of many facilities that lost power on Tuesday afternoon. As of Wednesday at 11 a.m., the hospital is operating on backup generators and remains fully operational, city officials said.
At the storm's peak, 35,000 customers lost power around the city, including facilities like the Public Works Yard and trailers for unsheltered people at Pier 94. Over 8,000 customers remain without power as of late Wednesday morning, according to the city.
"We saw areas of significant damage, as well as dangerous conditions caused by falling glass and downed trees. I want to thank all the City workers who have been out taking care of San Francisco during and after this most recent storm," Mayor London Breed said in a statement. "Tragically, two people lost their lives, which is a grave reminder of how serious and dangerous this storm became. The repeated storms have been challenging, but our public workers have been out keeping residents safe, limiting damage as much as possible and quickly cleaning up the City."
High winds brought a series of traffic and transit disruptions, like an overturned big-rig on the Bay Bridge during the evening commute and loose barges damaging the Third Street Bridge near Oracle Park.
Crews from the San Francisco Department of Public Works have reopened one westbound and two eastbound lanes on the Third Street Bridge and intended to have all lanes open by later Wednesday. The eastbound pathway will remain closed until further assessment, according to the city.
Public Works said carpenters have started working on blocking off the bridge's wooden walkway on Wednesday afternoon. The drawbridge is still open for crossings, though span lifts are on hold until engineers further assess the damage.
Weather conditions too dangerous for travel also prompted ferry service to be suspended, and many arriving and departing flights at San Francisco International Airport were delayed for hours Tuesday.
The city said residents can expect to see more transit delays, including flight changes and the suspension of cable car service, until crews clean up debris.
Streets around the 300 block of Mission Street remain closed as city building inspectors assess a fallen window from a high rise.
And in San Francisco's parks, the city's Recreation and Park Department has deployed arborists to inspect downed trees and other damage. So far park officials have counted over a dozen trees downed in nine parks, though the number is expected to increase as crews survey the area.
The city's 911 call center cited a spike in calls at over 400 percent its average call volume during the storm's peak, which caused longer wait times for 911 callers. Dispatchers worked to reroute non-emergency storm calls to 311.
Residents are advised to only call 911 in times of police, fire or medical emergencies, or when they notice a downed power line or gas leak. Residents can report fallen trees, flooding and other storm issues to 311.
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