Woman recovering after storm drain rescue


A homeless woman is recovering after being rescued from a San Rafael storm drain where she had taken shelter and then gotten stuck over the weekend, a fire battalion chief said today.

Employees at a car wash at 1515 Second St. heard a woman yelling for help around 8 a.m. Sunday, Battalion Chief Paul Crimmins said.

The woman was trapped in the drainage pipe and had water up to her knees, but the employees were unable to lift up the roughly 250-pound grate that covered the drain to reach her, he said.

Firefighters used several pry bars to remove the grate, and lowered a ladder down into the pipe.

“It was no easy task,” Crimmins said.

San Rafael Fire Chief Chris Gray said the pipe was not quite wide enough in diameter for someone to stand up inside.

The woman was taken to Marin General Hospital and is doing OK, Crimmins said. She had a small dog with her, and the dog was able to get out the other end of the pipe, he said.

Gray and Crimmins said homeless people have been using storm drainage pipes to stay warm during cold weather.
(Copyright 2014 Bay City News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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