Danger of rockslide forces San Francisco to close major road, reroute Muni

Storms sweeping through San Francisco Wednesday ripped part of a roof off a building, downed trees and prompted the city to shut down a section of one of the city's busiest streets due to the risk of rockslides.

The public works department shut down O'Shaughnessy Boulevard between Malta Drive and Del Vale Avenue and rerouted the number 44 Muni bus line due to concerns about boulders coming down off a cliff opposite Glen Canyon Park. Officials say it might reopen by Friday's afternoon commute.

Bright orange traffic barriers and road closed signs greeted drivers trying to navigate in the pouring rain...

"It's so dangerous at one point it was coming down so hard, just sheets of rain," said Michael Bulatao of San Francisco who drove up unexpectedly to the road block.

"Some of the boulders could be the size of a small car, some of them could be little...We don't want them rolling on pedestrians, or cars or bicyclists," said Rachel Gordon, the spokeswoman for San Francisco's Public Works Department, "What we're going to be doing over the next couple of days is sending crews up there who are going to be rappelling down the hill, knocking off all the loose boulders."

Rockslides in the city have been a problem in the past. Last week's storms caused some rocks to tumble down across on O'Shaughnessy BOulevard. The city brought in geologists and engineers who said more heavy rains could bring more rocks down..

Nearby on Stonecrest Drive at Junipera Serra, the buzz of chainsaws sounded out through the rain. High winds brought a large tree crashing down across the road.

"One of our two big trees right in front of our house knocked over our fences. And, luckily no cars were there or anything," said Neil Moore who lives at the spot where the tree toppled.

City officials say it's one of many fallen trees and they plan to have extra crews on standby overnight through the week.

"We had in the last storm about 300 trees that came down, which is a lot of trees," Gordon said.

On Congo Street, fire crews closed off the road temporarily Wednesday night. The winds and rain brought part of a rooftop crashing to the pavement. Luckily, no one was hurt, but the mess was a testament to the strength of this week's winter storms.