First in Series of Storms, High Winds Lash Bay Area | NBC Bay Area

First in Series of Storms, High Winds Lash Bay Area

Flash flood warnings issued in Alameda and Sonoma counties; advisories for Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017)

    The first in a series of storms moved through the Bay Area on Wednesday, bringing strong winds and more rain to an already saturated region.

    The wet weather, which started Wednesday and was heavy in many areas, caused more flooding, fallen trees and power outages. Flash-flood warnings were issued Wednesday night for southeastern Sonoma County and central Alameda County. Flash-flood advisories were in effect for Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties.

    In the South Bay, the rain and wind were powerful at times as thousands of residents lost power while drivers had to navigate around heavy amounts of water on roads, including what appeared to be a lake at Highway 17 and Lark Avenue.

    Restaurants and shops had to close early after the power went out Wednesday night. PG&E reported an outage affecting more than 8,200 customers in the San Jose area.

    Series of Storms, High Winds to Lash Bay Area

    [BAY] Series of Storms, High Winds to Lash Bay Area
    A series of storms will be moving through the Bay Area over the next several days, bringing heavy winds and more rain to an already saturated region.
    (Published Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017)

    "I expected it to go back on, you know, like it always does, and it hasn't gone back on yet," said Lydia Castro, a restaurant manager.

    Also in the South Bay, a large eucalyptus tree came crashing down Wednesday afternoon, stopping traffic on a busy stretch of Mount Hamilton Road. The tree also brought down power lines.

    In San Francisco, the drains were no match for the rain as drivers motored through standing water on 19th Avenue, near Stonestown shopping center. 

    And the wind forced a closure in Stern Grove because of concerns over shallow rooted eucalyptus trees threatening to topple. Robert Morales of Petaluma wasn't waiting around for it to happen.

    "These trees are starting to get a little top-heavy, starting to move back-and-forth, which means it's time to get out of here," he said.

    The rain from three back-to-back systems will have periods of respite but is expected to continue through Monday. The three systems collectively will dump from between 1 inch and 3 inches of rain throughout the Bay Area, with the heaviest downpours expected in the North Bay, according to forecaster Steve Anderson.

    High Winds and Strong Waves in Pacifica

    [BAY] High Winds and Strong Waves in Pacifica Ahead of Storms
    The high winds for the Bay Area will begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday along with a series of storms. The waves will be especially high in Pacifica. Bob Redell reports.
    (Published Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017)

    Winds from 40 mph to 50 mph also arrived Wednesday, prompting a high wind advisory and raising the specter of more toppled trees and downed power lines.

    Earlier Wednesday, wet weather made it difficult for crews working on repairs and clean up from last week's heavy rains.

    In the East Bay, Orinda city crews continue to work on repairing a large sinkhole that appeared on Miner Road after the recent storm. Public Works Inspector Todd Fierner said this week's wet weather is just making it worse.

    "If we had good weather we would have a pipe in there right now," Fierner said. "And this thing would be open in a week or so. Now we are looking at it could be a month."

    Crews are also working to repair another massive sinkhole in Pacifica. The storm is causing new erosion near a well-known apartment building condemned because of the eroding cliffside. Heavy rains also flooded several streets in Pacifica.

    After Wednesday, the rain will pick up again on Friday and lead to a short break on Saturday, Anderson said.

    On Sunday, another round of wet weather is expected to arrive and will taper off Monday afternoon, leading to mostly clear weather into the rest of next week.

    The dark and stormy weather has led to the closure of Muir Woods National Monument in Marin County and the continued closure of Lake Del Valle Regional Park in southeast Alameda County.

    The park's main feature is a large reservoir that flooded during last week's storms and, while the waters have receded, there are still large areas inundated by debris, according to East Bay Regional Park District spokeswoman Isa Polt-Jones.

    Also, part of the Stream Trail in Oakland's Redwood Regional Park is closed due to downed trees and parts of the Iron Horse Regional Trail in Concord have been rendered off-limits because of localized flooding, Polt-Jones said.

    Anyone planning outdoor excursions over the next few days should check in with the park district's website or give them a call to make sure the areas they want to visit are still open.

    "We'll be very busy, I'm sure," Polt-Jones said.

    Additionally, the weather will bring the possibility of a high surf advisory on Friday and continuing though Saturday.

    "Stay well back from the water," Anderson said. "There will be a lot of water flowing into the ocean, as well as a lot of debris logs and what have you in the surf zone, and that will create more hazards than normal."

    The storms do have a silver lining, however, in the guise of relatively mild temperatures, Anderson said.

    The overnight lows will sink into the 40s and the daytime highs will crest somewhere in the 50s.

    NBC Bay Area's Marianne Favro, Elyce Kirchner and Damian Trujillo contributed to this report.

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