Bracing for another storm front moving in, my boyfriend and I thought we better get sandbags for the front of our place to keep the rain out. We live a block and a half from the ocean at sea level and we saw the damage the rains did in Ocean Beach on Tuesday, January 5th.
Home Depot and Dixieline were both out of sandbags on Wednesday morning. Many others were in there for the same reason, only to be told that they didn't know when more bags were coming in.
We had heard the lifeguard station in O.B. might be handing out sandbags so we headed back to where we live. But I didn't expect to see over 25 people out there digging through wet sand to fill those bags.
Emily Horn, who is a server at Newbreak Cafe directly behind us on Abbott Street, was filling bags, too. She said, "The water came in through the front door and went all the way to the back door of our store. It was crazy." She told me, "Cars have been driving at full speed through the waters and intentionally spraying water all along the businesses.”
Steve Blunt and Jen Shore had many bags next to them and said they weren't even from O.B. Blunt said, "We live in the College Area and our apartment and surrounding areas were all flooded. The fire stations didn't have any sandbags left so we decided to come down to O.B. and fill them ourselves." Shore then said, “We live on 52nd and Trojan, which is at the bottom of five hills, and we saw cars just floating down the street."
Stephen Marchesi sold his home and moved here from New York a year ago to live with his girlfriend in O.B. "She told me that I wouldn't have to shovel sunshine after so many years of shoveling snow. She never mentioned that I might have to be shoveling sand into bags to protect our home!" Marchesi said they also went to Home Depot, Dixieline, and the fire station. "They were all out of sandbags everywhere we went," he said.
Dominique Ross was filling bags along with other employees from Thrift Trader, a recycled-clothing store on the main drag of Newport Avenue. She told me, "The water just came right through the store and all the clothes that were on the floor got soaked. We're trying to dry them all out now and hope that we can prevent if from happening again since we heard more storms are on their way. We're trying to stay open through all of this."
Sandbags were so scarce last night that District 7 councilman Scott Sherman announced in an email that officials would be handing out sand and sandbags at Qualcomm Stadium under the trolley tracks this morning. There was a limit of ten bags per family.