San Francisco

Strongest Storm of the Season Causes Flooding, Topples Trees and Sparks Outages

The latest winter storm has prompted a flash flood watch for the Bay Area as well as warnings about gusty winds

One of the strongest storms of the season continued to slam the Bay Area late Wednesday, prompting flooding and other problems around the region.

The latest winter storm triggered multiple weather alerts, including a flash flood watch for the Bay Area and a high wind warning for locations higher in elevation.

Widespread rain started around noon before heavy rain picked up and continued nonstop into the evening. Winds were reported to be as strong as 50-60 mph in some higher elevations in the region, the National Weather Service said.

The stormy weather caused problems including the closure of BART's underground Civic Center station in San Francisco after a leak from the San Francisco Municipal Railway station above it.

The closure was reported at 2:49 p.m. and trains were traveling through the station without stopping until it reopened around 3:25 p.m., according to BART.

Great Highway on the west end of San Francisco was also closed between Lincoln and Sloat boulevards because of the storm, according to the city's Department of Public Works.

A fatal three-car collision was reported shortly before 3 p.m. on state Highway 121 near the Sonoma-Napa county line, according to the California Highway Patrol.

CHP Officer Hannah Walcott said there have been reports of flooding on various highways around the region.

Walcott encouraged people to slow down on the roads, not follow the motorist in front of them too closely, and to make sure to have headlights on in rainy weather.

"The headlights have to be on," she said. "With the rain and reflection, you can't see those cars at all."

Rainfall totals through Thursday afternoon could check in anywhere from 3 to 6 inches in the coastal hills, the weather service stated. Most urban areas are expected to pick up 1 to 2 inches. Spots in the North Bay and inland hills could receive up to 3.5 inches of rainfall.

Bay City News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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