SF floods inundate Folsom & 17th zone

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The water in the garage at Samuel Picazo’s apartment at the corner of Folsom and 17th streets rose so high early this morning that not even crotch-high waders could save him from getting wet.

“It was here and then dropped and then rose again,” he said this evening, as he pointed to what appeared to be about a three-foot water line. He noted the small blue water pump working below to spew water from the garage out to the street. It has helped him through his 35th flood in 50 years.

“He does nothing,” Picazo said of the building’s owner. “He’ll be here tomorrow to pick up the rent check.”

Picazo lives on a corner long known for flooding. It sits below sea level and was slated for $200 million of work that appears not to have happened. In recent years, however, the city does put up storm barriers in advance of atmospheric river conditions.

That didn’t happen on Friday.

Around the corner on Folsom Street, at The Stable Cafe, Minah Matuszewski, a former Stable employee who bought the cafe during the pandemic, wondered why.

“Why weren’t there flood barriers up?” she asked. With the city’s barriers and their own, she said, The Stable has managed for several years to avoid the catastrophes that in 2014 forced The Stable to shut for months to replace all of the flooring.

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