Heavy Rain and Blustery Winds Down Trees, Trigger Flooding, Car Crashes and Power Outages Across Bay Area

Heavy rain and wind gusts flooded roadways, delayed BART service and caused power outages throughout the Bay Area Tuesday.

Between 1 and 3 inches of rain fell in the region in the morning, but the National Weather Service predicted that the rain would taper off by the afternoon. Scattered showers are expected to continue into the evening hours. 

The heaviest rainfall was recorded in the coastal mountains of Sonoma County, where 2.9 inches were recorded as of Tuesday morning. 

In San Francisco, there were 1.2 inches of rain while an inch fell in Oakland, a half-inch in San Jose, 1.5 inches in Santa Rosa, 1.5 inches in San Rafael and 2.3 inches in Santa Cruz, a weather service forecaster said.

The California Highway Patrol took to Twitter saying that officers responded to nearly 480 traffic collisions across the Bay Area between 12 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Commuters also faced flooded roadways and small mudslides. Some of the most significant flooding was in the East Bay, including as much as a foot of water on the Canal Boulevard on-ramp to Interstate Highway 580 in Richmond.

Lanes of several other highways throughout the region were flooded, forcing motorists to swerve to avoid the water.

Most of the slew of traffic collisions reported were minor, although all lanes of eastbound state Highway 24 were shut down for about half an hour Tuesday morning because of a crash involving five or six vehicles at Camino Pablo in Orinda, according to the CHP.

Meanwhile, two people were killed and nine others were injured in San Jose when a Greyhound bus flipped over a center divider on northbound Highway 101 near state Highway 85, CHP officials said.

It wasn't immediately clear if either of those crashes were weather-related.

BART trains were also delayed by as much as 20 minutes because of wind and rain requiring trains to run at slower speeds, in addition to medical emergencies involving passengers in crowded trains running through the Transbay Tube, BART officials said.

The weather also brought down power lines in the region and triggered power outages.

As of about 10:30 a.m., 4,755 people had lost power in the Bay Area, including 1,870 in the East Bay, 1,330 on the Peninsula and 1,090 in the North Bay.

The cause of all the outages has not been determined, but most are believed to be weather-related, PG&E spokeswoman Mayra Tostado said.

One confirmed weather-related outage affected 950 customers in the El Sobrante area who lost power when a tree fell on a power line on Appian Way between Rincon and La Paloma roads, Tostado said.

Another fallen tree brought down power lines on the 8400 block of Skyline Boulevard in the Oakland hills, according to Oakland police.

In Belmont, city crews spent hours removing a large tree that fell in a residence's front yard, blanketing a car and trapping a woman in her home. The tree also took out nearby power lines when it fell, sparking an outage in the area.

Commuters can expect drier weather on Wednesday and Thursday, but another storm is expected to arrive in the area on Friday, according to the weather service.

NBC Bay Area's Rhea Mahbubani and Scott Budman contributed to this report.

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