Worst is over, but Bay Area storm expected to continue all day

The nastiest portion of Thursday’s storm has passed San Francisco, but The City is not about to dry up anytime soon.

“We’re still going to get rain for the good portion of the afternoon, maybe even this evening,” National Weather Service forecaster Diana Henderson said. “The worst part of it is over, but the system itself is not over by any means.”

San Francisco experienced its strongest winds of 43 mph around 6 a.m. As of 11:30 a.m., winds had died down to less than 5 mph, said Henderson. More than an inch and a third of rain was reported so far.

The storm brought widespread power outages, transit issues and flooding to The City. PG&E reported approximately 80,000 customers without power in San Francisco mid-morning Thursday, with about 90 percent of those customers expected to have their power restored by noon.

Flooding occurred in various areas of The City, and more than two dozen incidents of downed trees were reported early Thursday morning.

Authorities installed a traffic buffer on the Golden Gate Bridge, allowing for two northbound lanes and three southbound lanes, “to separate traffic as a safety measure,” Department of Emergency Management spokesman Francis Zamora said.

The Embarcadero between Pier 39 and AT&T Park was closed to traffic for about an hour in the morning as well due to high surf, but the stretch of roadway reopened just before 9:30 a.m. Great Highway, which was closed Wednesday night, was expected to remain closed until 10 p.m. Thursday.

Two BART stations closed following the peak of the storm: Montgomery station in San Francisco, due to a power outage, and San Bruno station from flooding. The San Bruno station reopened at 9:45 a.m., but Montgomery station remained closed as of 11:45 a.m.

BART trains continued to report systemwide delays of 5 to 10 minutes late Thursday morning. Ridership throughout the morning was about half of a typical Thursday, spokesman Jim Allison said.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has seen multiple reports of water surging from manholes and other various flooding incidents Thursday morning due to leaves and other debris blocking a number of The City’s 23,000 storm drains.

The agency is asking residents and businesses to help reduce flooding by pushing aside and disposing of any leaves or trash that may be obstructing the flow of storm water into storm drains, when it is safe to do so.

To report clogged catch basins, street flooding and sewer backups, call 311 or use the agency’s mobile app.

Also, the San Francisco Unified School District announced that schools will be open Friday after the district closed campuses Thursday.

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