Atmospheric River

Bay Area Storm: Evacuations, Flooding, Closures and What to Know

There may be potential for mudslides and washouts in steep terrain in some areas, according to the National Weather Service

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An atmospheric river storm that pummeled the Bay Area Sunday and early Monday triggered evacuations, outages, freeway closures and a host of weather-related advisories and watches.

Here's a look at how the storm is impacting the San Francisco Bay Area region.

Record-Breaking Rain

Sunday's rainfall total of 4.02 inches recorded in downtown San Francisco places it fourth on the city's list of wettest days ever and sets a record for the wettest October day.

The city's highest rainfall total for a single day is 5.54 inches recorded on Nov. 5, 1994. Sunday's total breaks the previous high for October, which was 2.48 inches recorded on Oct. 13, 2009.

For more on the record-breaking rain, click here.

The heavy rain also wreaked havoc in Marin County, with flooding in Sausalito, San Anselmo and Fairfax, where crews had to rush to clear debris from the rising Fairfax Creek.

Multiple flood warnings in Marin County included San Anselmo and Fairfax, where crews rushed to clear debris from Fairfax Creek and keep the rushing water from damaging Town Hall. Thom Jensen reports.

Evacuation Orders and Warnings

As the atmospheric river rainstorm barreled across the Bay Area, evacuations were issued in San Francisco, and in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties.

San Francisco

In San Francisco, residents on 9th Avenue between 2176-2178 and 2184 blocks were under mandatory evacuations due to a 100 foot tree threatening three buildings.

As the storm wielded more power Sunday, it is also caused more problems in the South Bay. Marianne Favro reports.

Santa Cruz and San Mateo Counties

Evacuation orders were issued for people in and around the CZU Fire burn scar areas of Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties. Those orders were lifted Monday morning.

The heavy atmospheric river storm forced evacuation orders across Santa Cruz County. According to reports, around 16 power lines were down and authorities advise to be careful and be prepared. Marianne Favro reports.

High Surf Advisory

While the flood advisory was cancelled late Sunday night for the Bay Area, the National Weather Service issued a reminder that its high surf warning is still in effect through 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Power Restored in Parts of the Bay Area

By 11 p.m. Sunday, most of the more than 147,000 PG&E customers in the Bay Area without power late Sunday afternoon got their lights back on. The PG&E outage map still showed scattered outages, none of which affected more than 50 customers.

Earlier in the day, the Peninsula was hit hardest by the outages, with 46,529 customers down at 4:30 p.m., followed by Marin County, with 41,938 down. There were also significant outages in the South Bay (28,948), East Bay (21,685), and San Francisco (8,644).

For more details, take a look at our local coverage.

Santa Clara utility Silicon Valley Power reported around 8 p.m. Sunday that it was working on repairing a downed line and that it was restored before midnight. The outage affected about 928 customers.

School Closures

The Sonoma County Office of Education reported Sunday night that the following schools in the area would be closed on Monday. Some of the schools will be closed until further notice due to storm-related damages:

  • Anderson Valley Community Day School
  • All schools at Bennett Valley Union
  • All schools at Guerneville
  • Montgomery Elementary School

Road Closures

The rain and flooding have caused plenty of road closures in the Bay Area.

Early Monday morning, Interstate 880 in Fremont was shut down in both directions from Thornton Avenue to Mowry Avenue, and several motorists were stranded due to deep floodwaters, according to Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol.

In San Jose, major flooding shut down the southbound lanes of Highway 87 just north of Julian on Sunday night.

Flooding shut down the southbound lanes of Highway 87 just north of Julian in San Jose Sunday night.

Rocks and debris in the roadway closed Niles Canyon Road in both directions earlier Sunday, and State Highway 1 in Pacifica closed in both directions at Manor Drive due to flooding.

Pacifica police said drivers should use alternate routes. There is no estimated time for re-opening.

In Berkeley, police said people should avoid the 400 block of Arlington Avenue due to flooding.

Mill Valley police said Miller Avenue was closed at three spots due to localized flooding: at Montford Avenue, at Camino Alto, and between Camino Alto and Almonte Boulevard. Officials asked residents who must drive during the storm to use E. Blithedale due to flooding and fallen debris.

Fairfield police said Airbase Parkway between Dover and Heath and the 3000 block of Holiday Lane were closed due to flooding. Flooding also closed the Travis Boulevard off-ramp from Interstate 80. Police asked anyone approaching an inoperable traffic light to treat it as a four-way stop.

Contra Costa County said the following roads in Pacheco and Bay Point were closed: Pacheco Boulevard at South Buchanan Circle; Center Avenue Bridge at Grayson Creek; 2nd Street Bridge at Grayson Creek; Marsh Drive; Arthur Road at Pacheco Boulevard, Mary Ann Lane and Clearland Circle; Willow Pass Road near Clearland Drive.

Flight Cancellations and Delays at Bay Area Airports

NBC Bay Area reached out to major airports in the Bay Area on flight cancellations and delays due to the storm.

The airports reported the following:

  • SFO reported 62 cancellations (30 departures, 32 arrivals) and it was largely weather related.
  • San Jose International Airport reported about 58 delays and another eight additional predicted delays Sunday night with no delays. Officials said it was due to a combination of weather locally and nationally.

Flood Advisory Expired for Bay Area

The National Weather Service said at 11 p.m. Sunday its flood advisory for the Bay Area was canceled, though many areas were still reporting flooding, including Union City, where police tweeted at 10:45 p.m. that flooding was "severe" in the Alvarado-Niles Road area.

There was a flash flood watch in effect for the following:

Heavy rainfall could lead to debris flows and flash flooding in areas recently burned by fires due to poor drainage.

There may be potential for mudslides and washouts in steep terrain in these areas, according to the National Weather Service.

Attraction Closures

Two East Bay attractions closed their doors on Sunday due to the storm.

Officials with the Alameda County Fair announced Saturday that the fair was closed on Sunday. Alameda County Fair officials added that guests who were planning to attend Sunday can use their tickets any other day of the fair for admission and the carnival.

Oakland Zoo officials tweeted Saturday night that they also closed their doors on Sunday. Zoo officials added that they will automatically process a refund to guests within 7-10 business days.

To see the complete list, see our local coverage.

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