San Francisco

Third Storm Lashes Bay Area with Heavy Rain, Gusty Winds

A third system in a series of storms on Sunday battered the Bay Area with widespread rain, gusty winds and dangerous surf conditions.

The recent round of wet weather, which doused parts of the Bay Area already saturated by previous storms prompted a number of weather warnings, including flood warnings for Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma counties.

Portions of the Santa Cruz Mountains on Sunday expected to receive three to five inches of rain. North Bay rainfall totals could measure around three inches. Rainfall amounts across San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland are likely to fluctuate between one and two inches.

Those precipitation amounts on Sunday morning prompted flash flood warnings for Napa and Sonoma counties, but those alerts expired by the afternoon hours. A flash flood warning remained in effect for Santa Clara County into the evening hours.

Another flash flood warning was implemented in the Santa Cruz Mountains for the areas surrounding the Loma Fire burn scar. The National Weather Service said high rain rates and possible debris flow created a "life-threatening situation." People in the area were advised to stay off of mountain roads in order to avoid any potential hazards such as rushing water or mudslides. A similar flash flood warning was issued for the Soberanes Fire burn area in Monterey County.

A recent storm system has South Bay offiicals and residents keeping a close eye on rivers, creeks and levees. Chuck Coppola reports.

The rest of the Bay Area is under a flash flood watch as of Sunday afternoon. North Bay creeks in Sonoma and Marin counties, the San Lorenzo River in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the Uvas Creek and Llagas Creek in the South Bay, and the Pacheco Creek near Hollister are just some of the spots under close attention as flooding concerns return to the Bay Area.

Reservoirs in the South Bay also rose quickly after Sunday's early morning soaking and afternoon downpours. The Lexington Reservoir was 101.5 percent of capacity as of late Sunday morning. The Coyote Reservoir was 104.7 percent of capacity and the Uvas Reservoir was 106.9 percent of capacity.

Wet weather created a number of headaches for Bay Area drivers. A slew of mudslides and fallen trees blocked lanes of traffic along Highway 17 in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Highway 37 in Novato between U.S. Highway 101 and Atherton Avenue was also closed once again because of heavy flooding.

Aside from the rain, gusty winds early Sunday lashed the region and prompted high wind warnings across eight Bay Area counties. Those warnings expired by the end of the morning.

The blustery conditions knocked down trees and toppled some power lines, prompting some Bay Area residents to wake up to darkness. One of the most severe power outage as of Sunday morning was reported along the Peninsula. A total of 7,716 PG&E customers in Pacifica were without power as of 6:30 a.m.

People along the coast are keeping an eye on the coast as large waves and dangerous rip currents wallop the area. Rick Boone reports.

Along the coast from Sonoma County and Monterey County, dangerous waves prompted a high surf advisory. Beachgoers were warned to keep an eye out for large breaking waves and powerful rip currents.

On the other side of the state, poor visibility and traction issues along Interstate-80 in the Sierra Nevada on Sunday morning temporarily shut down the popular stretch of roadway to and from Lake Tahoe. Westbound traffic was closed at the California-Nevada state line while eastbound lanes were closed in Colfax. Both directions of traffic re-opened later in the day.

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