San Francisco's downtown sees wettest 10 days since 1871

San Francisco is still cleaning up after two days of wind and rain. The National Weather Service says the downtown area has seen its wettest 10 days since 1871. 

The intersection of Sloat Boulevard and Junipero Serra is now open after being closed most of the day as crews worked first to remove a downed tree, and then repair the damage it left behind.

A day and a half of rain, on top of a wet weekend turned some of the streets of San Francisco into rivers and finally proved to be too much for a cypress tree on Sloat. 

The tree came down Wednesday evening, blocking the intersection and dragging down 500 feet of Muni lines. "Stopped the Muni trains, the roadway is closed," said Rachel Gordon from San Francisco's Department of Public Works. "We had to bring a crane in to move the tree and we took another tree out as well just for safety considerations. So, our crews are still here working, it's the biggest impact we had from the storm."

Crews used heavy equipment to remove branches and pull up tree trunks. The Department of Public Works says it had reports of 300 tree or branches down over the last day and a half; with the likelihood of more to come with more rain in the forecast. "When you have high winds with saturated ground that makes the trees more vulnerable to failure," said Gordon.

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Muni also had buses trapped by downed trees as DPW crews scrambled from one incident to the next. The Department of Public Works says if the trees fall into the public thoroughfare they'll handle it, but when they fall on private property it falls on the property owner to clear it. A common enough sight around San Francisco, with a tree coming down in St. Francis Wood. 

City crews say with saturated ground, and more wind and rain the forecast, residents can expect to see more trees and limbs come down, impacting travel and power lines. "Stay away from the power lines," said Gordon. "Call 911 and let the city officials and city crews come out and deal with it."

Public Works crews say they're scrambling from one tree down to another. They say if residents see downed branches, but they aren't impacting power or causing a traffic problem, it could be a week or more until they can clear them all.

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