San Francisco

Sewage Seeps Into San Francisco Mission Terrace Neighborhood – Again

Sewage seeped into the Mission Terrace neighborhood of San Francisco—again.

Resident Blane Bachelor told NBC Bay Area that for at least the third time in as many years, raw sewage and water flooded into homes in the neighborhood. She lives on Rotteck Street. "It's 4:30 a.m. and the sewers are flooded again," she said in a Facebook post on a page called "Solutions Not Sandbags." "It's a nightmare."

In an interview Friday morning, she reiterated: "This is a catastrophic sewage failure. This is raw sewage." About a dozen homes, she said, were affected. She awoke to the awful sound of manholes blowing off and the smell of raw sewage spewing through the street.

The Department of Public works was called out to Cayuga Avenue on Friday, and crews helped clean up the mess. San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Charles Sheehan spokesman acknowledged the issue, but added that "no storm system can be designed to handle all storms."

Neighbor Donna Marie Ponferrada created the Facebook page, and named it as such because she said, "The city's solution has always been sandbags, elevate your belongings, get flood insurance. But when the sewage is coming up through the drains and toilets in the house, there isn't much residents can do."

She said she lost her apartment two years ago to a similar sewage eruption. And on Friday morning, she said her toilet gurgled, followed by sewer water entering her home and creating an "ocean" in the street."

The neighbors are openly calling on San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to fix the problem. His office did not respond on Friday for comment.

This is not the first time sewage seeped into this neighborhood. In 2014, the San Francisco Chronicle noted that rains flooded 26 homes with raw sewage, displacing six families. And ten years prior to that, there was similar damage, prompting the city to put out more than $1 million. Ponferrada said that several families have an active lawsuit against the city because of the ongoing problem.

For her part, Bachlelor said she can barely take it any more.

Standing outside in the dark in pink rain gear, her voice weary and angry, she said: "I'm furious I'm so over this. I'm fed up."

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