Storm updates: Rainiest October day in San Francisco history

Rainfall exceeded 10 inches in parts of the Bay Area

A storm pummeling the Bay Area continued to flood roads, knock down trees and down power to thousands in the region on Sunday afternoon.

PG&E said more than 147,000 customers around the Bay Area didn’t have power at 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

The Peninsula was hit hardest by the outages, with 46,529 customers down, followed by Marin County, with 41,938 down. There were also significant outages in the South Bay (28,948), East Bay (21,685), and San Francisco (8,644).

PG&E activated its Emergency Operations Center on Thursday to prepare for advance planning ahead of the weekend storm, as well as regional and local emergency operation centers across the service area. The utility said it had more than 3,000 employees working Sunday.

For PG&E safety tips during power outages, go to https://bit.ly/30R1x4t.

Dozens of trees were down, and several roadways closed due to flooding around the area. Authorities in several cities and counties urged residents to stay home and use caution if they need to venture onto roads.

The storm is tied as the third strongest since 1950 on the Bay Area Storm Index, and the strongest in 26 years, according to Jan Null, a consulting meteorologist with Golden Gate Weather Services.

The National Weather Service on Sunday afternoon issued a flood warning for the Napa River, which is expected to rise above flood stage by late Sunday evening. At 1:15 p.m., the river near St. Helena was at 16.1 feet. According to the weather service, flood stage is 18 feet.

In other developments around the Bay Area, related to the storm:

• Sunday’s rainfall total of 4.02 inches recorded in downtown San Francisco places it fourth on the city’s list of wettest days ever and sets a record for wettest October day.

The city’s highest rainfall total for a single day is 5.54 inches recorded on Nov. 5, 1994.

Sunday’s total breaks the previous high for October, which was 2.48 inches recorded on Oct. 13, 2009.

Before Sunday, seven of the 10 highest totals were recorded in the 1800s, according to a list of totals recorded since 1849 and shared by the National Weather Service.

The service began releasing rainfall totals about 1:30 a.m. Monday.

In Sacramento, the 5.44 inches recorded there broke the previous record of 5.28 inches set in 1880.

Multiple Bay Area counties saw more than 10 inches of rainfall over the last 48 hours as an atmospheric river pelted the region over the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

• Rainfall collection sites in Danville, Boulder Creek, Mt. Tamalpais and the unincorporated communities of Woodacre in Marin County and Venado and Glen Ellen in Sonoma County all measured double-digit rainfall totals over the weekend.

The NWS’ collection site at Mt. Tamalpais saw the most rainfall of anywhere in the greater Bay Area, with 16.55 inches as of roughly 6:30 a.m. Monday.

Much of the Bay Area also saw wind gusts on Saturday and Sunday as high as 92 mph in Alameda County and upwards of 60 and 70 mph in other parts of the region.

Nearly every county in the greater Bay Area saw seven inches or more of rainfall, according to NWS data. Saint Helena and southwest Yountville in Napa County both eclipsed nine inches as did Boulder Creek in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

In the central Bay Area, rainfall reached between four and five inches in Oakland, Half Moon Bay, Hayward and at the San Francisco International Airport. In San Francisco proper, Sunday’s 4.02 inches of rain alone accounted for the fourth wettest day in the city’s history.

The sorely needed storm hit the region so hard that it has forced closures of some schools, roadways and freeways due to flooding; mudslides and other debris blocking roadways; and power outages affecting as many as roughly 147,000 PG&E customers late Sunday night.

• Evacuation orders for people living in the CZU Fire burn scar areas of Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties were lifted Monday morning.

The orders were issued at 8 a.m. Sunday as the season’s first major storm moved through the Bay Area, fueled by an atmospheric river that brought high winds and torrential rain to the region.

Blustery, wet conditions resulted in localized flooding, downed powerlines, fallen trees and traffic accidents around the Bay Area.

The Cal Fire CZU Felton Emergency Command Center reported that it had logged 124 incidents in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties over the past 24 hours or so.

During a typical 24-hour period, it will field an average of 25 to 30 incidents, Cal Fire reported Monday.

“The National Weather Service has allowed the Flash Flood Watch and Wind Advisory for the area of the CZU Lightning Complex to expire, and the threat has passed,” according to a news release from San Mateo County and Cal Fire officials.

People are still urged to travel the area with caution while the roads remain wet and crews work to clear downed trees and power lines.

The storm brought impressive rainfall totals across the Bay Area, with Ben Lomond Mountain clocking in at 9.63 inches, Mt. Tamalpais hitting 16.55 inches, the Oakland hills recording more than 7 inches in places and St. Helena getting hit with nearly 11 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service.

• Caltrans crews reopened all lanes on southbound Interstate Highway 880 in Fremont, where flooding trapped cars and blocked the freeway earlier Monday morning.

The California Highway Patrol had closed the highway in both directions due to flooding shortly before 3:30 a.m. between Decoto Road and Thornton Avenue.

Lanes reopened about 8:40 a.m., according to the CHP. There is still a coned-off temporary closure between Alvarado and Thorton avenues, but motorists can get around by using the slow lane, CHP Officer Dustin Kennerly said. That closure should be lifted shortly, he said.

The freeway flooded during Sunday’s storm, and there was between 2 1/2 to 3 feet of water at one point, which trapped seven cars.

• The number of Bay Area residents still without power had dropped significantly by Monday morning, but 68,320 customers were still in the dark due to storm-related outages, PG&E said.

By 6 a.m., 25,916 customers were affected on the Peninsula, another 20,753 in the North Bay, 11,107 in the South Bay, 8,489 in the East Bay and 2,055 in San Francisco, PG&E spokesman J.D. Guidi said.

Late Sunday, as the storm was was barreling through the Bay Area, outages around the region topped 147,000.

PG&E’s outage map can be found at https://pgealerts.alerts.pge.com/outages/map/. For PG&E safety tips during power outages, go to https://bit.ly/30R1x4t.

• There are major delays on BART’s San Francisco line Monday morning due to equipment problems on multiple trains, BART officials said.

The delays are in the Millbrae, Daly City, San Francisco and East Bay directions, according to an advisory from BART at 7:15 a.m.

• Santa Clara utility, Silicon Valley Power, reported around 8 p.m. Sunday it’s working on repairing a downed line it estimated will be fixed by midnight. The outage was affecting 928 customers.

• The threat of a large tree leaning in San Francisco’s Forest Hills neighborhood prompted fire officials to order the evacuation of three homes Sunday morning.

Residents in the 2176-2178-2184 block of Ninth Avenue were being evacuated, the San Francisco Fire Department said on social media about 11:10 a.m.

The City also experienced flooding on Marina Boulevard and at 31st and California Avenues.

• Pleasant Hill police said flooding closed the following roads Sunday night: Patterson Boulevard from Oak Park to Monte Vista Court, Duffy Court at Skander Lane, Astrid Drive at Contra Costa Boulevard.

Officials also said to be cautious of other areas known to be prone to flooding, including Cleaveland Road, Buskirk Avenue at Hookston Court, Camelback residential areas, the Poets Corner neighborhood, and the Sherman Acres area.

The city’s sandbag stations have been completely depleted.

• Sausalito declared a state of emergency Sunday afternoon, due to widespread storm damage.

At 3:30 p.m., more than 800 PG&E customers were without power.

City officials also reported downed trees and power lines and said residents of the tent encampment at Marinship Park were displaced, prompting the city to ask Marin County to set up a shelter in Southern Marin.

The Sausalito Library, at 420 Litho Street, will remain open until 9 p.m. to shelter those without power.

• Santa Cruz County has opened an emergency shelter for debris flow evacuees at San Lorenzo Valley High, 7105 Highway 9, in Felton, according to the county’s Twitter account.

Officials ask that people check in at the cafeteria. Food and water and cots will be provided. Self-contained RVs are welcome.

• In San Mateo County, an evacuation warning was upgraded to an order at 8 a.m. Sunday for the area of the CZU Lightning Complex burn area. The potential for debris flows, downed trees and power outages in the area prompted the order, according to Cal Fire and San Mateo County authorities.

Half Moon Bay High School opened Sunday morning as a temporary evacuation point. The school is located at 1 Lewis Foster Dr., Foster City. An interactive evacuation map is available at community.zonehaven.com.

• State Highway 1 in Pacifica was closed in both directions at Manor Drive on Sunday night due to flooding.

Pacifica police say drivers should use alternate routes. There is no estimated time for re-opening.

• Residents of 95 homes and a four-unit apartment building in Santa Rosa’s Bennett Valley neighborhood were evacuated Sunday afternoon due to flooding, city officials said.

The fire department went door-to-door to inform homeowners in the Neotomas Avenue and Tachevah Drive, Brookhaven Drive, Tuscan Drive and the Washoe Court areas, said Santa Rosa Public Information Officer Adriane Mertens.

The city received multiple reports of flooding, downed trees and power lines early Sunday afternoon, according to the Santa Rosa Fire Department.

Officials encouraged residents in the area to remove their belongings from the first floor and garage due to rising waters. All residents in low-elevation areas were encouraged to do the same.

During evacuations, residents of two homes needed assistance and the city has called services to help them. City buses were also sent to help those evacuated.

The city was working on lowering flood levels. Debris was being cleared out of drainage areas and drains were to be cleared out so water can flow properly, Mertens said.

• Berkeley police say people should avoid the 400 block of Arlington Avenue, due to flooding.

• The National Weather Service on Sunday afternoon issued a flash flood warning for the Hennessey portion of the LNU Lightning Complex and Glass Fire burn areas.

The weather service warned of hazards due to the danger of possible of debris flows and mudslide due to heavy rainfall on Sunday.

The areas cover rural central Napa County and east central Sonoma County, the weather service said in a warning issued at 12:30 p.m.

Some locations that could experience flash flooding include Santa Rosa, St. Helena, Calistoga, Deer Park and Angwin, according to the weather service.

Radar and rain gauges showed heavy rain falling in the area, the weather service said. The rate of rainfall expected in the area was 0.75 to 1 inch in one hour. Additional rainfall amounts up to 1 inch were possible in the warned area.

The weather service warned that anyone seeing soil movement should move to higher ground immediately.

• Mill Valley police said Miller Avenue is closed at three spots, due to localized flooding: at Montford Avenue, at Camino Alto, and between Camino Alto and Almonte Boulevard.

Officials asked residents who must drive during the storm to use E. Blithedale, due to flooding and fallen debris.

They also asked residents who live along the Arroyo Corte Madera Creek to monitor their properties closely for flooding and to please check on neighbors who might need an extra hand or have difficulties during this time.

The Mill Valley Community Center has been opened as a warming center for anyone who needs to leave their home because of rising flood water.

No evacuations have been announced.

• Contra Costa County says the following roads in Pacheco and Bay Point are closed: Pacheco Boulevard at South Buchanan Circle; Center Avenue Bridge at Grayson Creek; 2nd Street Bridge at Grayson Creek; Marsh Drive; Arthur Road at Pacheco Boulevard, Mary Ann Lane and Clearland Circle; Willow Pass Road near Clearland Drive.

To find sandbags sites in Contra Costa County, go to http://www.cccounty.us/sandbags.

• Flood sirens activated in Ross, San Anselmo and Fairfax on Sunday afternoon after Corte Madera Creek crested, the Marin County Sheriff’s Office said.

Homes and businesses in the low-lying areas were advised to move personal property and cars to higher ground after the creek topped its banks, the sheriff’s office said on social media about 4 p.m.

Emergency storm information is available at https://emergency.marincounty.org/

• Authorities in San Rafael were warning people to avoid the city’s downtown area due to extreme flooding on Sunday afternoon.

Many roadways were under 2 feet of water and are impassable, San Rafael police said in an alert about 2:15 p.m.

“The flooding is anticipated to worsen due to another high tide, in addition to the rainfall levels from the atmospheric river,” police said in an advisory.

• A fallen tree branch that blocked BART tracks Sunday morning between Daly City and Balboa Park stations was cleared, BART officials said.

Service stopped about 8:30 a.m. between the two stations and Muni Bus #54 provided a temporary bus bridge.

Service has since been restored, BART said in advisory about 9:20 a.m.

Going forward, the peak time for rain across the Bay Area was expected to be Sunday afternoon and evening, with a chance for thunderstorms. The storm is expected to clear the area by Monday evening, forecasters said, and there is a chance of showers on Tuesday.

A flood advisory was issued early Sunday for parts of Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties until 10:15 p.m., the National Weather Service said.

Minor flooding has been reported in several areas, where gauges show 1 – 3 inches of rain reported, the weather service said. Just over 6 inches was measured at Mt. Tamalpais.

As of 5 a.m., San Francisco had measured 3.47 inches of rain for the month to date, currently ranking 5th wettest October on record and wettest October since 1972, the weather service said.

In addition, a wind advisory for the region was in effect through 8 p.m. Sunday evening for Bay Area, the weather service said, and strong winds combined with wet soils increases the risk for downed trees.

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