El Niño brings erosion concerns to Daly City residents

With El Niño coming, Daly City residents are concerned about erosion and landslides from the rains.
Nature seems to be slowly ripping the heart out of the cliffs along Northridge and Avalon Drives in Daly City, where the ocean meets land.

Erosion and landslides are why one longtime resident isn't looking forward to the rains.

"With El Niño coming, I am concerned it could undermine and cause slides," said Larry Allaro.

City officials say the most recent slide happened more than a week ago, even before the weekend rains, perhaps carry over from previous wet weather.

"I don't suspect it will go in one giant fell swoop. It will keep falling off piece after piece after piece," said John Fuller, the Daly City Public Works Director.

These bluffs have seen massive landslides in 2003 and again in 2007. An area along Northridge has been fenced off as a result.

In 2000, 17 homes were declared unsafe along Daly City's Westline Drive, but that was because of a completely different slide.

"When it rains hard the sandy soil gets heavy and the weight of its mass can't overcome the friction holding it up and pulls away and falls into the ocean," said Fuller.

Allaro says concerns over El Niño may eventually force him to move away.

"This could be a trend with global warming. It's not going to get better," he said.

"There is nothing you can do to stop it. It is way too large an area. You could spend $100 million and not put a dent in it," said Fuller.

The city says no homes or other structures are in any danger from the slide.

Geologists have told them they are in a safe zone and not part of the canyon area that is crumbling.