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Worried About Wednesday’s Atmospheric River? Here’s Where You Can Pick Up Sandbags

Written by Garrett LeahyPublished Jan. 03, 2023 • 6:47pm
Sandbags are laid to protect Potrero Flats, Mission, from incoming heavy rainfall on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2022. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

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Many San Francisco stores have seen a run on sandbags as the city braces for another bout of heavy rainfall Wednesday. The almost record-breaking rainfall totals on New Year’s Eve saw widespread flooding throughout the Mission District and other low-lying neighborhoods.

To learn when more supplies will arrive on shelves, The Standard called hardware and home improvement stores across town. 

Discount Builders Supply and Hardware

1695 Mission St., SF

Weekdays: 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday: 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Discount Builders Supply and Hardware’s Mission Street location is expecting 300 pre-filled sandbags to arrive Wednesday, along with utility pumps and flood barriers. 

Be warned however, that supplies may sell out quickly. Store manager Jeff Knight said that there was a rush from customers to buy sandbags ahead of the torrential rain predicted for Wednesday.

“They lasted about 25 minutes,” Knight said.

Home Depot
91 Colma Blvd., Colma 

Monday-Saturday: 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sunday: 7 a.m.-6 p.m.

Home Depot’s Colma location will have sandbags as soon as Wednesday. Between 40 and 50 sandbags should arrive overnight Tuesday, a store manager told The Standard.

Mayor London Breed holds a press conference at San Francisco City Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, to address the New Year’s Eve storm, and the upcoming atmospheric river. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

Ace Hardware
152 Clement St., SF

Monday-Saturday: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Ace Hardware in the Inner Richmond expects to have pre-filled sandbags in stock Thursday, along with several 6-gallon bags of play sand—which can be stuffed inside separate empty sandbags sold separately. 

While that particular shipment arrives Thursday, a manager said that the store’s sister location at 6122 Geary Blvd. should receive sandbags and other supplies as soon as Wednesday.

Cole Hardware
956 Cole St., SF

Open daily 8 a.m.-7 p.m.

Cole Hardware in Cole Valley was out of sandbags when The Standard called, but manager Rick Karp said that the store expects to have a few dozen sandbags as soon as Thursday morning. However, you’ll have to buy the sand and the bags separately and fill them up yourself. 

While the store has ordered a few hundred, supplies may be limited Thursday.

In stock will also be 20 sump pumps and several quick dams, which come in a roll and expand when wet to block floods, and the store had roughly 50 umbrellas as of Tuesday evening.

Center Hardware and Supply
3003 Third St., SF

Weekdays: 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
Weekends: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Center Hardware and Supply said its store should be restocked with 56 sandbags by Thursday. Also coming in will be 36 sump pumps used to pump water from flooded areas, several rolls of flood barriers, and loose sand, which can be packed into empty sandbags sold separately.

Where To Get Free Sandbags

The city’s Department of Public Works is also distributing up to five free sandbags per address at the Public Works operations yard  on Marin and Kansas streets Monday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., during and leading up to storms, although the department website notes that supplies are limited.

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Garrett Leahy can be reached at [email protected]


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