Bay storm breaks record

Record-breaking rainfall and strong winds walloped the region Tuesday, flooding streets and bringing down trees and power lines.

The unusually large October storm, the remnants of Japanese Typhoon Melor, came in near 2 a.m. Tuesday, said Diana Henderson of the National Weather Service.

“This early in the season, it’s kind of unusual to have this amount of rain, and this amount of rain this quickly,” she said.

In San Francisco, Interstate Highway 280 just south of Mariposa Street and the Sixth Street and King Street offramps were closed because of flooding.

“There’s a lot of standing water on the freeways and problems with flooding and wrecks everywhere in the Bay Area,” said California Highway Patrol Officer John Short around 7 a.m. Tuesday.

State Highway 1 at Devil’s Slide was shut down for nearly four hours after a fatal crash in which a 74-year-old Half Moon Bay woman was killed, according to the CHP.

“You listen to the radio and it’s just one to another. It’s been a constant battle all day,” CHP Officer Shawn Chase said.

As morning traffic hit the roads, three pedestrians were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries in vehicle collisions in The City, said San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Lt. Mindy Talmadge.

By early evening the Department of Public Works had received 125 calls for tree issues, most for hanging tree limbs, spokeswoman Christine Falvey said. There were even more calls about flooding and sewer issues — by 2 p.m., more than 200 calls had come in, Falvey said.

Power outages affected some 174,000 Bay Area customers, but by 8 p.m. about 85 percent of those problems had been fixed, PG&E spokesman Andrew Souvall said.

At San Francisco International Airport, high-speed winds and low-lying clouds forced flights to land on a single runway, which led to three-hour delays, airport spokesman Michael McCarron said.

Muni spokeswoman Kristen Holland said the agency’s vehicles were operating at reduced speeds due to wet road conditions and decreased visibilities. Several trolley bus routes were stymied after tree branches took out their power lines.

Wet weather

About the Bay Area’s 24-hour rainfall, as of 7 p.m. Tuesday:

San Francisco: 2.49 inches
Redwood City: 3.5 inches

Previous San Francisco rainfall record for Oct. 13th*:
1.8 inches in 1962

Total rainfall July 1-Oct. 12, 2009: 0.27 inches
Total rainfall July 1-Oct. 12, 2008: 0.16 inches

*Rainfall records not available for Redwood City

Source: National Weather Service

tbarak@sfexaminer.com
kworth@sfexaminer.com

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