A San Francisco car repair shop is still cleaning up from last week’s storms where at least 40 cars were damaged when flood water rushed into the business.
Alioto’s Garage is located on Folsom Street in a neighborhood that’s been prone to flooding. Now, the owner is raising concerns about the city’s efforts to mitigate the flooding.
Chris Alioto said that about 40 of his customer’s vehicles were damaged by the flood water, and it could have been more.
“We had about six or eight employees come in on their day off when they heard about the rain, and they drove about half of the cars to a safe spot,” said the co-owner of Alioto’s Garage.
At the auto shop next door, Carlos Ballesteros said his place got flood water too.
“Let’s say 15 inches, more than one foot,” said Ballesteros of California Detailing Inc.
Mud and debris seeped into his shop, but what saved this garage from any major damage was a pumping system they use when they wash a vehicle after it gets serviced.
“So as soon as the water from the street hits,” he said, the pumps kicked in and sent the excess water out of his garage.
Alioto said he’s frustrated with the response from the city to this series of storms.
“Ever since COVID came around, the puc stopped maintaining the drains by clearing them out every, every fall,” he said.
NBC Bay Area reached out to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission about Alioto’s claim over maintaining storm drains through the pandemic, but have not heard back.
Drainage and runoff during heavy rains has been a long-time concern for residents and business owners in this area of Folsom Street, and in the last series of storms, the rain simply inundated the neighborhood.
San Francisco has long planned to update the sewage and runoff systems for that section of the street and according to the San Francisco Public Utilities website, construction on that project is supposed to begin sometime this year.
Meanwhile, Mayor London Breed will be announcing a series of grants Wednesday for small businesses that have flood damage.
Source: NBC Bay Area