Major storm, king tides could cause flooding in SF

San Francisco is bracing for a quick yet “vigorous” storm that’s set to hit much of California beginning Wednesday night, according to the National Weather Service.

Winds and heavy rain are predicted throughout the day Thursday, with gusts up to 35 mph anticipated by the afternoon commute and more than an inch of rain expected to fall, said Steve Anderson, a meteorologist with the weather service.

“It will impact a lot of people; there will be rain all the way down to San Diego at some point,” Anderson said.

The rain will start in the North Bay late Wednesday or early Thursday, and work its way south through the Bay Area, with the heaviest rain coming to San Francisco in time for the afternoon commute.

Drivers should brace for high winds, downed trees, debris in the roadways and power outages.

“Be patient, leave early if you can, and expect a likely longer commute [Thursday,” Anderson said. “Telecommute if you can.”

The storm is expected to dissipate by Friday morning, leaving some residual rain that day.

Forecasters have issued flash-flood warnings for the areas burned by the Loma and Soberanes fires and say drought-weakened trees are particularly vulnerable to being downed and could result in power outages around the region.

Urban flooding is likely around the Bay Area during the storm, especially in Marin County, according to the weather service.

The storm will coincide with so-called “king tides,” naturally occurring and very high tides that can contribute to flooding, especially along coastal areas and near creeks and estuaries.

The high tide at the Golden Gate Bridge will arrive around noon Thursday, just as the heaviest rains are expected, according to the weather service.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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