North Bay

Latest Bay Area Storm Floods Roads, Downs Trees, Triggers Mudslides and Road Closures

A deluge of wet weather on Tuesday led to a host of serious problems including flooding, mudslides and toppled trees across the Bay Area, not to mention schools closing in the North Bay and highway closures in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The Napa River reached its banks on Tuesday, amid flood warnings, and Napa County public works officials witnessed a mudslide that some say is the largest they've ever seen in the area. 

In Contra Costa County, the wet weather on Tuesday caused a rash of problems, including downed trees, flooding, and power outages. The mess came just weeks after county officials declared a local weather emergency because of the multi-million dollar damage from last month’s storms. Elyce Kirchner reports.

People called 911 early Tuesday after they heard a PG&E transformer blow near Hess Winery. The explosion was triggered by a mud slide that dumped nearly 400 trucks full of mud and debris on the area. 

Early Tuesday morning, people in Napa Valley dialled 911 after they heard a PG&E transformer blow, amid a mud slide that dumped nearly 400 trucks full of mud and debris on the area. Michelle Roberts reports.

"To say that it’s massive is an understatement," said Steve Stangland with the Napa County Public Works Department. "We’re looking at 35,000 cubic feet of debris."

A few miles north, a huge tree smashed into a power line, forcing officials to divert traffic around a major thoroughfare on Silverado Trail. Frustrated drivers were stuck in their cars for hours.

Rising water triggered flood warnings for Sonoma, Solano and other North Bay counties during the morning hours before hitting Alameda, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties later during the afternoon hours.

Second Storm Wreaks Havoc Across Bay Area

Downtown San Anselmo was temporarily closed Tuesday morning because of flooding and dozens of schools in Marin County were closed for the entire day as well. Authorities in Kentfield sounded the community emergency siren at 8 a.m. when heavy rain and high tide started to send roaring Corte Madera Creek over its banks.

In Sonoma County's Schellville, at least three cars were stranded in flooded city street waters early in the morning and people were rescued from inside their vehicles, officials said.

And in San Rafael, neighbors are on edge after a mudslide barreled down a hill and tore a house in two

Drivers were pulled to safety overnight in Sonoma County’s Schellville when the roads flooded. Bob Redell reports.

Officials also kept a close eye on the Guadalupe River in San Jose. The river could peak at 15.7 feet; flood stage is 17 feet.

Crews across the Bay Area were faced with removing hazards from several roadways, including mudslides and fallen trees.

A rockslide shut down a portion of Niles Canyon Road in Fremont, sending public works crews to clean up the debris. The roadway also known as Highway 84 was shut down for about 12 hours Tuesday mainly because of overflowing Alameda Creek.

"It’s pretty bad; I've never seen water come up that far, but we got it done," Caltrans worker Pedro Alcazao said.

Crews also worked to clear downed trees in Martinez and Pleasant Hill.

"We are all feeling that we aren’t getting that break, you know?" said Kevin Lachapelle with the Contra Costa County Public Works Department. "We just felt like we cleaned up from the last one and here we are again doing the same exact thing."

Tuesday's mess came just weeks after county officials declared a local weather emergency because of the multi-million dollar damage from last month’s storms. 

And in Redwood City, a trailer park was hit with floodwater and raw sewage after pipes backed up. Residents, terrified of their homes and cars getting damaged, are urging city officials to fix the recurring issue.

The driver of a Mercedes sedan got stuck on Highway 121 in Sonoma County’s Schellville. He tried to back up but his car stalled. Firefighters helped rescue him. And our cameras caught him gingerly stepping onto the ground from the trunk of his car. Bob Redell reports.

In addition, wind advisories are in effect for all nine Bay Area counties during the morning hours.

Blustery conditions knocked down trees and toppled powerlines throughout the Bay Area. Roughly 21,000 PG&E customers were without power as of 7:45 a.m. North Bay customers represented nearly half of those left in the dark.

Rains pounded down in the North Bay on Tuesday and were so heavy in San Anselmo that the downtown was closed off. Sir Francis Drake Boulevard was also closed for a bit. Pete Suratos reports.

The recent round of rain, which is the second in a string of storms this week, ramped up early Tuesday. Soggy conditions are expected to make way for partial clearing by late Tuesday.

In the Santa Cruz Mountains, rainfall totals could top out close to 5 inches by Wednesday. By 1:30 p.m., the downpour triggered a landslide, forcing CHP officers to close all lanes of Highway 17 near Sugarloaf Road. Only one southbound lane was reopened just before 6 p.m., but the others are expected to be shut all night, according to the CHP.

This storm could dump roughly 4 inches of rainfall on the East Bay. Peninsula totals are estimated to reach 3 1/2 inches followed by North Bay numbers hovering around 3 inches. South Bay spots could collect totals around 2 inches.

NBC Bay Area's Cheryl Hurd and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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