Sinkhole opens, trees fall in SF during overnight storm

A car drove into a small sinkhole in the Sunset district late Wednesday evening during a storm that brought some unusual weather to San Francisco — lightning, thunder and hail, officials said.

The sinkhole opened up on Noriega Street near 18th Avenue, where city construction workers had temporarily sealed up an area of the street above a sewer main with asphalt, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission spokesperson Tyrone Jue said.

The driver was uninjured when the front corner and a wheel of the car was lodged into the 2-foot-by-3-foot void around 7:40 p.m., Jue said. The vehicle had to be pulled out of the hole by a tow truck later that night.

The sinkhole was just one of the damages reported from the storm, which dropped more than a half-inch of rain in San Francisco overnight, said National Weather Service forecaster Diana Henderson. She added that a storm cell was tracked from the Farallones Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge early Thursday morning.

The storm also caused six trees to fall throughout The City, Public Works spokesperson Rachel Gordon said.

A 30-foot tree went down at 25th Avenue and Fulton Street in the Richmond, and another tree blocked one lane of traffic at Sansome and Greenwich streets near the Embarcadero. Also in the Richmond, a tree reportedly landed on a car at 29th Avenue and Lake Street.

In West Portal, trees were downed at 16th Avenue and Wawona Street, where one went into the parking lane, and at Magellan and 12th avenues — leaning against two houses.

The Outer Sunset had one tree fall at 41st Avenue and Pacheco Street, which blocked the sidewalk.

A tree fell and was leaning on power lines at Third Avenue and Balboa Street, but it’s unclear if that caused a power outage.

Gordon said the high winds are often the main culprit when trees fall, but trees that have a lot of leaves on them can catch water and topple as a result. The rain also loosens roots underneath trees.

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