Wild Weather Weekend in Bay Area

Sunday, Sep 13, 2009  |  Updated 7:53 AM PDT
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Wild Weather Weekend in Bay Area

Aaron J Lopez

Viewer Aaron Lopez took this photo around 4:30am in San Francisco.

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Rain, lightning caused problems across the Bay Area this weekend.

As utility crews continue to work to restore power in some areas, Bay Area fire crews are monitoring conditions after lightning caused at least 30 brush fires in the region.

The biggest effects of the storms was in rampant power outages throughout the Bay Area, with tens of thousands of residents waking without power Saturday morning. According to Pacific Gas & Electric, the largest outage occurred in San  Francisco and affected about 36,000 customers at its peak, according to  spokeswoman Brandi Ehlers.
 
The outage started at 5:15 a.m. and affected customers in the  city's Sunset, Parkside, Outer Mission, Laurel Heights, St. Francis Woods, Glen Park and Excelsior neighborhoods.

Power was restored to all those customers by 7:30 a.m., Ehlers  said.

Another outage caused by lightning that struck a transformer near  California and Broderick streets shortly after 5:25 a.m. left more than 4,000 customers without power, but power was restored to all of them by 6 p.m.

At 8:36 a.m., a downed wire affected 6,893 PG&E customers near  Octavia and Grove streets, but all customers had their power restored by 3 p.m., according to Ehlers.

About 3,000 Pacific Gas and Electric co. customers are still  without power in Richmond because of several outages in the city caused by the storms.

The affected customers are expected to have their power restored  some time after 8 p.m., according to Ehlers.

Firefighters in Sonoma County are dealt with about 10 fires across the county, all related to lightning, said Cal Fire spokeswoman Nancy  Carniglia. Several were west of Guerneville, she said, and one was near The  Geysers and east of Cloverdale.

The fires all burnt between one and four acres, and many were in areas that are difficult to access, according to Cal Fire.

In Santa Clara and Alameda counties, Cal Fire crews were still battling spot fires in the central portion of the Diablo Mountain range, between from state Highway 130 north to the Alameda County border, according  to Cal Fire spokesman Henry De Kruyff.

The strikes were responsible for about 20 fires, most of which started in remote areas east of San Jose near Mt. Hamilton, according to Cal  Fire.

The largest fire burned nearly 100 acres near Bethany Reservoir in northeastern Alameda County. That blaze has been contained, according to Cal  Fire.

Crews will conduct aerial reconnaissance in the area throughout the night. More than 350 fire personnel have been assigned to the "Santa Clara Lightning Complex," and Cal Fire crews from throughout California will  be working on the fires for the next few days.

The National Weather Service canceled a fire danger warning for parts of the Bay Area this afternoon after the storm responsible for the dangerous lightning strikes moved east of the area.

The red flag warning was canceled at about 3:30 p.m. It had been issued Friday because of the "explosive fire growth potential" of the thunderstorms in the North Bay and parts of the East Bay and South Bay,  according to the weather service.

The warning was for the coastal hills of Monterey County, the  Santa Cruz Mountains, the East Bay hills, the Diablo Range in Santa Clara County, and the entire North Bay, including coastal areas and inland valleys,  according to the weather service.

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