Mayor London Breed on Wednesday pleaded with residents to avoid calling 911 except for dire emergencies.
“The storm that we had talked about is actually here,” Breed said Wednesday afternoon. “I just want people to take this opportunity to let people know that 911 needs to be used as a tool for emergency situations involving life or death only.”
The city is being “inundated with a number of 911 calls and they don’t all necessarily fit into that category,” the mayor said.
For storm-related issued, residents are urged to call 311 instead.
The mayor also advised residents to stay indoors if possible, adding that San Francisco was now under a flood warning.
“As the wind gusts pick up anywhere between 50 and 70 miles per hour, we can anticipate that trees will be falling and power outages will occur,” she said.
Executive Director of the Office of Emergency Management Mary Ellen Carroll also spoke at the press conference.
“Everything was fine until about an hour ago, the storm we’ve been waiting for is here,” she said.
Carroll said the city has already faced some localized flooding, downed trees and “a few mudslides and sinkholes,” but that the storm will intensify.
Carroll also added to the mayor’s request that people call 311 instead of 911.
“911 is extremely busy right now,” she said. “Please, we again ask the public, for storm related issues that are not life safety, please use 311. That is the fastest way for us to the the information and dispatch your response to the effects of the storms. Use 911 for actual emergencies.”