Traffic in Glen Park was snarled this morning due to an oil spill on Elk Street between Bosworth and Sussex Streets. A Recology truck traveling uphill from Bosworth dropped a load of hydraulic fluid as it made its way up Elk Street. The hydraulic fluid is needed to operate the lifts that dump trash from the bins into the hopper of the truck.
Chenery Street was closed by the fire department from Elk Street to the intersection of Chenery and Surrey Streets. Area traffic was turned away toward alternate routes.
Local resident David Evans was caught in the mess. He called 911 because it was so bad.
“I had to stop my car mid-hill on Elk and help direct traffic and orchestrate a three-point turn for a poor person unable to drive up the hill. Two cars had pulled over and given up,” he said.
Evans said the road surface was so slick he could barely stand.
“I even was able to slide down the hill a little surfing the oil for a few feet in sneakers. I’m amazed my car ultimately was able to get up it even with AWD!”
When approached by the Glen Park News, Recology workers were in process of initial cleanup, dry sweeping with old-fashioned brooms.
The fire department was overseeing the operation. Lieutenant Mark Hardeman of our Engine 26 on Digby Street, said that Recology was sending a grease sweeper and power washing equipment from its headquarters near Candlestick Park. “Right now, they’re stuck in traffic so we’re waiting for them to get here. Luckily they have a lot of their own resources” to deal with the situation.
Hardeman pointed to a rainbow-slick area of the road that wasn’t affected, noting, “This is normally what a road looks like in the rain. It’s very slippery to begin with,”due to the weather. “Right now, it’s like being up in Tahoe,” he continued. “Cars are slipping and sliding and there were two near accidents. He cautions that when the road reopens, maybe around noon, drivers should proceed very slowly and carefully.
With the announcement yesterday that the city’s emergency warning sirens will be out of service for two years pending system upgrades, it was timely to see that the AlertSF system notified subscribers of the hazard. Sign up for alerts at www.sfdem.org/get-city-alerts.