Outages, damage throughout San Francisco; soggy week ahead

San Francisco is drying out after a weekend storm system dumped more than 2 inches of rain on The City, uprooted trees and sent a large hotel sign crashing onto a downtown sidewalk.

The system — which brought lightning to the area, high winds and the unusual appearance of a water spout off Ocean Beach on Friday — is expected to be followed up by more rain and high winds throughout the week and into the weekend, according to National Weather Service forecaster Bob Benjamin.

“We’ll have some fairly substantial amounts of moisture,” Benjamin said. “Right now, it looks like the rest of the week is going to be unsettled.”

As of late Sunday morning, about 2.2 inches of rain had fallen on San Francisco, according to the weather service. Wind gusts up to 62 mph were recorded at San Francisco International Airport.

Also, the storm claimed an approximately 25-foot sign at the Hotel Virginia, located at Mason and O’Farrell streets in the theater district near Union Square.

The sign broke off the side of the building and came crashing down onto the sidewalk about 10:30 p.m. Saturday, according to Department of Public Works spokeswoman Gloria Chan.

No injuries were reported, a Police Department spokesman said.

On Friday morning, a water spout — the ocean version of a tornado — was seen off Ocean Beach, and there were reports of a tornado touching down briefly in Santa Rosa around the same time, according to Benjamin.

Over the weekend, the Department of Public Works responded to about 100 calls for downed trees or branches throughout The City, along with flooded storm drains, Chan said.

Great Highway along Ocean Beach was closed for flooding in the southbound direction, Chan said.

PG&E officials reported 15 separate outages in San Francisco affecting 3,200 customers. Throughout the Bay Area, there were more than 1,000 outages affecting nearly 142,500 customers.

In what might not be shocking news to residents, this year has had more precipitation than usual.

San Francisco has an average of 22.28 inches of rain annually, but the total as of Sunday morning is 21.95, according to Benjamin. He said San Francisco would probably top its average in the next day or two. The season is recorded from July 1 through June 30.

“We’re still in the rainy season,” Benjamin said. “This is definitely late in the season to get this prolonged period of rain … but I don’t think it’s unprecedented.”


Rainy season in San Francisco

22.28 inches
San Francisco average yearly rainfall, measured July 1 through June 30

21.95 inches
San Francisco rainfall this year, as of 11 a.m. Sunday

2.2 inches
Most recent storm’s rainfall, from Friday to 11 a.m. Sunday

Source: National Weather Service

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