Bay Area storms blamed for flooding, travel delays

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- The National Weather Service has issued flash flood and flood warnings for several parts of the Bay Area today as steady rain soaked the region.

The heavy rain was blamed for street flooding, traffic delays, downed trees and flight delays at San Francisco International Airport. >>>>>For more weather service warnings: Click here

PG&E said Monday night that about 25,440 of its utility customers were without electrical service as of 7 p.m. due to widespread power outages.

Most of those affected customers are in the South Bay, with nearly 21,000 customers without power, and the East Bay with nearly 2,400 affected customers.

There are roughly 1,000 affected customers in San Francisco, 900 on the Peninsula and 420 in the North Bay, according to PG&E.

High winds, falling trees and downed power lines were reported all over the region today, with gusting winds in excess of 75 miles per hour recorded in the Los Gatos area.

In Alameda County, a flash flood warning was issued for the Niles Canyon area near the Alameda Creek. Heavy rains in the area have caused the creek to rise rapidly, weather service officials said.

Additionally, Palomares Road near Niles Canyon has been closed after a mudslide has made the road impassible, according to Alameda County officials.

A flash flood warning was also issued for the southern parts of Santa Clara County due to rising water levels at Pacheco Creek, north of Hollister. A flood warning was also issued for Coyote Creek near Morgan Hill.

In Santa Cruz County, a flash flood warning is in effect until 3 p.m., at Corralitos Creek at Green Valley Road near Watsonville.

In Sonoma County, a flood warning was issued until Tuesday morning for areas near the Russian River.

Monday morning, a flash flood warning was issued for the Soberanes Burn Area in the western portion of central Monterey County but it was allowed to expire at 7:15 a.m.

Heavy rain was expected to persist throughout the day and evening and drivers were urged to use caution and to never attempt to drive through flooded roadways.

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In Pacifica surfers braved the 8-10 foot swells this afternoon, undeterred by Mother Nature.

"It was pretty wild!" said Eric Lightman after catching two waves in the bitterly cold water at Rockaway Beach. "Especially today, you gotta like work up the courage and then you know go out and try to execute!"

The strong undercurrent was too much for surfer Tiffany Pfeiffer.

"I wouldn't say these are ideal conditions for what I would surf in but just wanted to be in the water," said Pfeiffer. "I paddled out, didn't really go for it.... it felt really awesome but it's strong, so I got out."

At the Pacifica Pier, Bob and Lonnie Guinn, who were grappling cabin fever, came to gawk at the waves.

"It's kind of fun to watch the unsuspecting pedestrians walking when (the waves) crash over the [sea] wall]," laughed Bob Guinn.

As of 3 p.m. Monday afternoon, the weather was blamed for 266 flights delays and 105 cancellations at the San Francisco airport.

Nicole Sommer, who had a 17 hour flight to Chile ahead of her, had to wait 90 minutes for her plane.

"It makes it kind of annoying that we have to wait so much time in the airport, too," Sommer said. She and her two friends bought coffee drinks and chatted to pass the time before boarding their flights.

Gusty winds knocked down a large tree on Gough Street near Market, blocking two lanes, luckily no one was hurt.

In Redwood City, crews worked to unclog storm drains that flooded Highway 101 between Woodside and Whipple Avenue, causing an early morning accident and temporarily shutting down all northbound lanes.

"They traversed into what was standing water on the roadway lost control and there was a subsequent multi vehicle collision," said California Highway Patrol Officer Amelia Jack.

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