Wet, cold weather bears down on Bay Area

Although an umbrella and a raincoat usually do the trick, some San Franciscans’ hopes of staying dry amid Thursday’s storm went down the drain as backed-up storm drains caused minor floods throughout The City.

Winter storm showers continued drenching The City. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission reported 25 minor floods at various locations. Agency spokesman Tyrone Jue said 19 were at intersections and six occurred at homes or businesses. 

Roadway flooding occurred at California and Polk streets, Eddy and Franklin streets, 15th and Guerrero streets and southbound U.S. 101 at Cesar Chavez Street, among other intersections. Flooding also occurred at two locations along The Embarcadero, Jue said.

Flood alerts and Bay Area-wide urban small-stream flood advisories were issued Thursday morning.

Chris Salameh, who works at Spot Lite Market Liquors at the corner of 15th and Guerrero, said the flooding outside the market was among “worst” he’d seen in his 12 years at the store.

Forecaster Ryan Walbrun of the National Weather Service said the storm coincided with king tides, or especially high tides created by the position of the Earth and moon which. Though not seasonal, these astronomical tides can be more prevalent during the wintertime.

The Golden Gate Bridge recorded its highest tide of the month on Thursday at 6.6 feet, several feet above the average for the past month. Today, the bridge expects a high tide of 6.5 feet.

The heavy rain and minor flooding hit The City about two weeks after it recorded record-breaking high temperatures.

“It’s a little odd that we’re having sunshine, and all of sudden this downpour,” said San Francisco native Jose Alvarenga, who evaded the flooding at 15th and Guerrero streets. The City College of San Francisco student said he was taking precautions.

“I haven’t ridden my motorcycle because of the weather,” he said.

Joshua Weiner, who drove to The City from San Jose for a business meeting, said it took him more than an hour and a half due to slow traffic.

“It was pretty slippery,” Weiner said, citing that many were driving slowly. “My traction control kicked in a few times. But I drive crazy.”

The storm dusted Bay Area peaks with snow. Eight inches fell in North Sonoma County, 3 to 4 inches near Saratoga and Los Gatos, and 2 inches on Mount Hamilton, according to the National Weather Service.  


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