Surveillance camera captures moment 50-foot ficus tree uproots on Mission Street

San Francisco is drying out and cleaning up between storms.

A rain-soaked ficus tree came crashing down shortly after 10:30 a.m. Thursday, near Union and Van Ness. Peter Ready saying he has been documenting the construction next to his home and when he looked outside this morning he got more than he bargained for.

"I went to the window to take photographs, and I hear this cracking noise as I'm getting ready to take a photograph of the construction and I look up and watch the tree fall," said Ready. "It may have been three or four seconds for it to fall, not a big boom it just went down. It was a cracking scratching noise."

The tree crashed through a Muni shelter, dragging down a street light and blocking southbound traffic on Van Ness for hours. Ready saying the falling tree surprisingly avoided hitting anyone on this usually busy street corner.

"There's typically three to four, to as many as eight to 10 people either inside the covered area or outside or waiting at the corner to cross the street," said Ready.

A 50-foot ficus tree came crashing down on Mission Street this morning as well. A nearby surveillance camera recording as the tree began to collapse heaving up the sidewalk, a car narrowly avoiding being hit. The collapsed tree bringing traffic on Mission to a halt and pulling at Muni lines. In all, more than 115 trees and tree branches came crashing down because of the storms that rolled through the Bay Area over the last 24 hours.  

"It's been very busy we brought in extra crews starting last night to make sure the incidents could be dealt with very quickly," said Rachel Gordon from San Francisco's Public Works Department.

City crews have been busy, not just clearing fallen trees and tree branches, but clearing clogged storm drains, which left massive pools of water during the morning commute. "There's a lot of localized flooding throughout San Francisco where the storm drains got clogged, so our crews as well as our sister agency the Public Utilities Commission we are out there tying to clear the drains so the water can drain down," said Gordon.

The storm is being blamed for at least one injury in San Francisco. A gardener for the city's recreation and parks department was treated and released from an area hospital for a minor injury he received cleaning up after the storm.