Sandbags in short supply as Bay Area prepares for next round of storms and flooding

Across the Bay Area, many homeowners and business owners are scrambling to find sandbags as another round of storms threatens to bring more rain and flooding. 

In San Francisco, Chenery Street in the Glen Park neighborhood had flooding over the weekend and the Vice-President of the Glen Park Business Association said many shops didn't have sandbags. 

"It was like a river coming down from the street onto the sidewalk. We literally, we didn't have sandbags, so we got bags of cat litter just to kind of block off some of the water," said Dalare, "I need to let the merchants know they need to get some sandbags just in case."

On Monday, however, the line of cars waiting to get free sandbags at the San Francisco public works yard stretched down the street.

"Since Saturday, we've given out 8,500 sandbags. We are running low now, but we are actively seeking more sandbags," said Rachel Gordon, Communications Director for the San Francisco Public Works Department. 

City workers loaded up cars as officials called other counties and suppliers to find more bags. 

"If your property is not prone to flooding please do not come and get sandbags, we really want to have them for the people who need them most," said Gordon.

Sandbags are in short supply throughout the Bay Area.

In Pleasant Hill, signs declared a limit of 10 bags per household, but still some stations were out of bags and sand.

Tom Duffy says he ended up buying empty bags at a hardware store and was just glad to find shovels and dirt at one location.

 "We went to two other locations in Pleasant Hill and they were out," said Duffy, "This one has some sand and some dirt, no more bags, but we're getting there."

In Brisbane, sandbag supplies were also depleted. Contractors cleared mud from downtown streets after the weekend's flooding and mudslides that stretched more than a mile. 

Residents are being asked to move parked cars on part of San Pablo Avenue by Tuesday morning, so crews can clear the drains before the next storm.  

"Mud, rocks, sand. It was pretty nasty," said Amanda Harris, a Brisbane resident.

Public works crews across the Bay Area are asking residents to help prevent flooding by clearing drains.

"If you can please go out in front of your homes and businesses and clear any leaves or litter that you can, so it doesn't go into the storm drain," said Gordon.

In the worst areas where sandbags might not be enough, the SFPUC plans to add flood barriers Tuesday at intersections such as Folsom and 17th Streets which are prone to flooding. 

Also important, if roads become flooded or covered in mud, public works crews say it is important not to move road closure signs and traffic cones. 

In Brisbane someone moved a road closure sign over the weekend and later that evening, a woman and her 7-year-old daughter slid off the road. 

"A young mother and her 7-year-old child went up the road because the road closed signs were gone. The car lost traction, slid into the guard rail. They were trapped there until police, fire and public works came out to remove them," said Randy Breault, Director of Brisbane Public Works & Emergency Services "If not for the guardrail, they would have ended up in the canyon and they could have rolled over we could have not even know the car was there. You could have people die overnight like that." 

Breault says removing signs could cause injury or death and is against the law.