Thousands Lose Power as Heavy Rain, Wind Move Across Bay Area

Scattered power outages affected thousands of Bay Area homes and businesses Wednesday afternoon as a storm moving across the region brought heavy rain and strong winds, PG&E officials said. 

Rain continued to pound down over the region for the sixth consecutive day, causing flooding on the highways, wind advisories on the bridges and dozens of delayed flights.

PG&E crews were responding to numerous power outages in San Francisco, on the Peninsula and in the South Bay. In San Francisco, 28 separate power outages are affecting a total of about 2,500 residents and businesses, on the Peninsula 76 outages left 2,200 without power, and in the Monterey Bay area 108 outages areaffecting 3,400 PG&E customers, utility officials said.

In San Jose, the flooding was so bad that one woman's car was consumed by a "wall of water."

Her car was stuck Wednesday about 5 a.m. under the railway underpass near the SAP Center on the Alameda in San Jose - the standing water reaching almost up to the door handles. The woman, from Southern California, had to wade out of her car to safety, her son told NBC Bay Area.

City crews were trying to unclog the drain nearby to let the water flow out to bring the car out.

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In a separate issue, three cars were flooded in San Francisco under U.S. Highway 101 at the Cesar Chavez offramp, as public crews rescued them about 5:15 a.m. More flooding occurred in the Castro District, and a Sig-Alert was issued early in the morning when a tree fell at Highway 101 at Vermont street.

The National Weather Service said that "flash flooding is a concern" and there could be urban and small stream flooding in low-lying areas. High wind advisories were issued for the Bay Bridge and the Dumbarton Bridge during the morning commute.

At San Francisco International Airport, duty manager Nancie Parker said 112 flights were canceled as of 11:45 a.m. because of the weather. Most of the flights are West Coast routes. Shortly after noon, the Golden Gate Division of the National Park Service said that Muir Woods was closed because of the "severe weather and high winds."

NBC Bay Area Meteorologist Christina Loren said it's rained more in the last week in San Francisco than it has in all of 2013.

"So far, the totals from the past four days have helped to ease the drought in San Francisco by 10 percent," Loren said.

The rain is expected to taper off by Wednesday evening. A 20 percent chance of rain is predicted for Thursday. More rain is expected for Friday. 

NBC Bay Area's Anthony Slaughter, Kris Sanchez, Stephanie Chuang and Mike Inouye, and Bay City News contributed to this report.

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