Flood Advisories Go Up as Rain Comes Down

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The heavy rain the Bay Area had been hoping for finally started dumping Wednesday afternoon, causing accidents, road closures and some classes to be cancelled. Marianne Favro reports.

    The heavy rain the Bay Area had been hoping for finally started dumping Wednesday afternoon.

    The wet weather, which began during the Tuesday evening commute continued through Wednesday.

    At the system's height, doppler radar showed rainfall rates were in excess of a half inch per hour. It hit the South Bay at lunch time, which meant a lot of being got soaked just running in and out of their work parking lots.

    It was enough to cause the National Weather Service to issue a small stream flood advisory for Marin, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and San Francisco counties from 12:51 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

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    A wet Tuesday turned into real rain on Wednesday.

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    A flood advisory meant streams and creeks could rise out of their banks, but property damage was only expected to be minimal, according to the weather service.

    The rain lead to a major mudslide that closed Tesla Road in Livermore. The road is expected to remain closed through Thursday. Barricades are in place, and only local residents will be allowed access to Tesla Road until further notice.

    The rain caused a flood warning in the area of this summer's Rim Fire near Yosemite.

    There were reports of flooding or pooling on dozens of roadways up and down the peninsula. Northbound 680 in Fremont was flooded at Washington Blvd near Mission Blvd due to clogged drains.

    Highway 87 also flooded near Taylor in downtown San Jose.

    There was also a report of a serious weather-related accident on Highway 17 at the Summit that closed all northbound lanes for more than three hours. Two people were ejected and one person was pinned  under a car in an accident, according to the California Highway Patrol.

    A tow truck was dispatched with a 200-foot cable to assist emergency responders at the scene.

    Parts of the Bay Area should see a quarter inch to a half inch of rain over the next few days. The rain ends a record dry spell - the lowest rainfall count in 64 days - for the city of San Francisco.

    The number of PG&E customers without power in the South Bay  because of weather-related outages has dropped to about 170 Wednesday afternoon  but a separate outage has been reported in the South San Francisco area, a utility spokeswoman said.

    The outages began on Tuesday, and late Tuesday night about 7,600  customers were without power in the San Jose, Los Gatos and Morgan Hill areas. Overnight, that number dwindled to 1,600.

    PG&E spokeswoman Monica Tell said at about 12:30 p.m. that only 174 customers remained without power because of five separate outages in San  Jose.

    Tell said about 70 customers in central San Jose were without power, and the other affected customers were spread throughout the city.

    Classes were canceled at Silver Creek High School in San Jose today because of the outages, the school announced on its website.

    "Due to a power outage, the campus is closed for today. Stay home and do your homework! School resumes tomorrow," the message read.

    All of the outages are believed to be weather-related but are under investigation, Tell said.

    A separate outage in South San Francisco was reported around 12:20  p.m., Tell said. About 1,200 customers in several Peninsula cities were  affected by that outage, she said.

    She said she did not know when power would be fully restored.

    Some Bay Area residents welcomed the change in weather with open arms.

    "I did come prepared and I'm happy to see the rain because we really need the rain," said Arlene Rosen of Oakland.

    But for others, the wet weather meant cracked trees, such as the one on Hyde Street in San Francisco, which fell on the cable car tracks, and power outages across the South Bay. And officials were looking into whether the rain played a part in a transformer blowing Tuesday night, causing a power outage at Silver Creek High School in San Jose, which canceled classes for the day.

    MORE: Tree Falls Onto Cable Car Tracks in San Francisco

    The first storm of the season also means extra slick conditions on Bay Area roads with oils that have accumulated all summer surfacing to the top.

    California Highway Patrol Officer Daniel Hill is warning drivers they may experience their wheels spinning in location where they normally do not.

    "It's simply because the roadway is more slick," Hill said.

    The change in weather has kept tow truck drivers like Kenneth Rieck busy.

    "It's really crazy," he said. "It's causing problems and making my boss a lot of money."

    For more on the showers and Bay Area forecast, visit our weather page.

    NBC Bay Area's Jodi Hernandez, Rob Mayeda, Christie Smith and Anthony Slaughter contributed to this report.

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