Heavy Rain Spurs Power Outages, Car Crashes, BART Delays

Rain lashed the Bay Area on Saturday, leaving a host of problems in its wake.

Among them, a massive power outage, serious BART delays, flooded roads, upended trees and car collisions. 

PG&E reported that more than 41,000 customers across the East Bay were without power for a few hours, starting around 1:45 p.m. Crews immediately got to work and restored power to several of those customers around 4 p.m. However, Berkeley residents and business owners making up approximately 7,000 of the orginal 41,000 customer count did not receive full power until 5:50 p.m., PG&E said.

The lack of electricity put a damper on business for some store and restaurant owners.

"We were waiting hopefully that it would come on soon, but crunching some numbers, it just wasn't worth it for us to stay open," Antonio Mangana from Flacos Restaurant in Berkeley said.

PG&E believes problems at an Oakland substation and an issue with a breaker at a Berkeley substation played a factor in the outages.

A slew of accidents, including a landslide in San Francisco that did not injure anyone or threaten any buildings, were also reported across the Bay Area.

In the North Bay, a large tree crashed down on a power pole on Maddocks Road near Sebastopol. About 10 PG&E customers were left without electricity. A few miles north, another tree landed on power lines, forcing crews to close Porter Creek Road, north of Santa Rosa.

On the Peninsula, drivers coming off Interstate 280 in Hillsborough had to navigate a flooded off-ramp at Black Mountain Road. And in Oakland, a pine tree landed on a Chevrolet Camaro on State Route 13, just north of Moraga Avenue. No injuries were reported, but parts of the roadway were closed while crews removed the fallen debris, police said.

Responding California Highway Patrol officer Daniel Ramirez was amazed to see the driver in good shape.

"(The driver) is very fortunate that he escaped out of this without any injuries," he said.

Ramirez added that the driver saw the tree falling, but wasn't sure whether to speed up or slow down. The driver chose to brace for impact.

"He thought the worst was going to happen and he closed his eyes and felt he was going to suffer extreme pain from his injuries and that wasn't the case," Ramirez said.

Meanwhile, inclement weather and track maintenance also caused widespread BART delays.

A delay was reported on the Pittsburg/Bay Point line in the Pittsburg/Bay Point direction as well as the San Francisco International Airport and Millbrae directions, according to BART officials.

BART reported that another train was stranded in San Francisco because of a power outage between the Glen Park and Balboa Park stations. There was limited service between the 24th Street and Daly City station, as a result.

In the Sierra Nevada, rain plastered the landscape instead of snow. Heavy downpours and snow runoff flooded creeks and rivers thoughout the region.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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