NFL legend Joe Montana and his neighbors are suing San Francisco over a massive sewage deluge that washed millions of gallons of “toxic feces” through their idyllic bayside homes.
The four-time Super Bowl winner is among nearly 60 residents of the city’s most expensive neighborhood who claim the city has failed to maintain its “antiquated” sewage system.
More than 18 million gallons of sewage and raw sewage poured down the city’s streets on New Year’s Eve after the second-heaviest rainfall in San Francisco history.
Much of it ran all the way to the bay through the low-lying Marina district, where property prices average $2.6 million, turning the chic beachfront neighborhood into a sea of dirt.
“It flowed in and around plaintiffs’ properties, permeating floors, walls and floors and depositing highly contaminated and toxic feces and other raw sewage in and around plaintiffs’ homes,” the lawsuit states.
Legendary 49ers quarterback Joe Montana and his wife Jennifer have joined the claim with their neighbors in San Francisco’s Bayside neighborhood of Marina
Millions of gallons of raw sewage were among the floods that spilled through city streets after the New Year’s storm
Some in the city risked their health in the untreated floodwaters
“The portion of this system that runs through the marina is obsolete and has been neglected and poorly maintained by the City and County of San Francisco.”
“As a result, the system regularly overloads, overflows, and inundates plaintiffs’ properties and neighborhoods with untreated sewage and contaminated water.”
Downtown San Francisco recorded its second wettest single day in history on New Year’s Eve, when 5.46 inches of rain fell on the already soaked streets.
Highways 99 and 101 were closed as rescue workers struggled to save the lives of people trapped in the rising flood waters.
A group of teenagers were yanked from tree branches outside of Sacramento and police used armored vehicles to rescue 13 seniors trapped in their home east of San Francisco as nearly 180,000 California homes lost power.
But sewage increased the danger in the Golden City because, almost uniquely in the region, San Francisco’s storm sewers are connected to the sewage system, mixing the two with every flood event.
Runoff has killed thousands of fish and infested the bay with massive algal blooms over the past two summers, and another 2.3 million gallons poured into the bay after the New Year’s storm.
Another 4.5 million gallons of sewage flooded Marina Boulevard October 2021 after the nearby Pierce Street outlet was closed by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
Cars got stuck on an exit off Highway 55 in Orange County, California
For some trapped by the New Year’s flood, a boat was the only means of escape
One person was rescued from the roof of a car while four others were pulled from a submerged vehicle
Many cars were completely submerged as major highways became impassable
The lawsuit alleges that the commission tried to protect the bay by closing the outlet, but the sewage simply poured out of the manhole covers onto the street.
“When they closed the Pierce Street drain, they knew there would be consequences and they didn’t compensate for it,” said Jeff Ruch of the lobby group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
The regional water authority has begun investigating sewage spills in the marina area, and the Utilities Commission has pledged to spend $9 billion over the next decade to repair its infrastructure.
Leading the lawsuit is Khaldoun Baghdadi, former head of the city’s Human Rights Commission.
“Not only do we trust the city to maintain the sewage infrastructure, we pay them to do it,” she told San Francisco Default.
“If the city makes decisions that result in raw sewage flooding homes, it has a responsibility to compensate residents.”
San Francisco soccer icon with wife Jennifer and son Nate
City officials blamed a storm unique to 170 years for the disruption
But city spokeswoman Jen Kwart said she blamed the “almost unprecedented” nature of the storm for the damage to millionaires’ homes.
“It was the strongest storm to hit San Francisco in more than 170 years,” she added.
“The storm, and not the city’s infrastructure, was responsible for the widespread flooding across the city.”
“We are reviewing the complaint and will respond in court.”