By WIll Reisman, @WillReisman
With the wet and windy conditions of last week’s winter storm leaving many residents on the Peninsula with flooded homes, no power and in need of assistance, SamTrans stepped up to prove its more than just a transit operator—it’s an agency ready and able to help in emergency situations.
At approximately 9 p.m. on Thursday night, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office reached out to SamTrans, asking for assistance in relocating 350-400 residents on 100 Harbor Boulevard in Belmont, due to flooding at the housing facility. SamTrans immediately made six buses available for dispatch in transferring the residents to a safe point at the College of San Mateo. Upon further notice, the number of residents in need of assistance was reduced significantly, to just 20 people, allowing SamTrans to move all affected individuals to the evacuation site with one bus.
At noon the following day, SamTrans was again alerted to flooding conditions at the housing site on Harbor Boulevard in Belmont. Although only two individuals needed to be transported to College of San Mateo, a SamTrans bus was staged at the location for four hours as part of evacuation operation.
“Samtrans was an incredible resource this past week as they have always been and undoubtedly will continue to be moving forward,” said Don Mattei, Supervising Coordinator for the San Mateo County Office of Emergency Service. “In times of unexpected disaster, professional relationships such as these are paramount to quickly and safely providing necessary assistance to those in need.”
More rain and storms are expected this week in the Bay Area, which means that SamTrans will once more be on high alert to help out Peninsula residents if necessary.