After storm, Bay Area deals with power outages, damage

Wind and rain battered the Bay Area and much of California over the weekend, leaving hundreds of thousands without power and causing widespread damage from flooding and trees. 

The storm is being blamed for the deaths of three people around the state, including one in Santa Cruz County. 

By Monday evening, Pacific Gas and Electric reported a total of more than 121,000 customers affected by power outages throughout the Bay Area. This was down from more than 235,000 customers who were without power this morning. The majority of the outages are concentrated in the North Bay and South Bay where tens of thousands remain without power. 

PG&E workers dealt with 248 poles and 115 transformers that were damaged. Across PG&E's service area, roughly from Eureka to Bakersfield, there were 678,000 customers who lost power in the storm.

On the Peninsula, San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa directly posted at the utility on X. He said, "let there be light," because he's received so many calls from people, including seniors, that they are worried about the food in their refrigerators spoiling.  

Many schools canceled classes in Sonoma County and other areas. See a list below.

Some of the most severe effects were in Southern California. People were told to evacuate in low-lying parts of Santa Barbara because of flooding. Landslides threatened homes on Los Angeles County hillsides. Though the storm had largely departed from the Bay Area, more rain was expected in Southern California.


California storm photos show dramatic damage across state

Punishing weather across California killed a person in Santa Cruz County, knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people and felled trees in water-logged cites from Santa Rosa to Santa Barbara.

A person in Boulder Creek was killed by a tree that fell onto a home, according to the Santa Cruz County sheriff's office. One other person in the home escaped, official said. The victim was identified as 45-year-old Robert Brainard II. 

People were also killed by falling trees in Sacramento and Sutter counties, the San Francisco Chronicle reported

The power outage had a lot of effects in the Bay Area. It turned off traffic lights at intersections. Cal State-East Bay's Hayward campus is operating remotely on Monday due to the outage. Mission College also canceled classes at its West Valley campus because of a power outage.

Trees fell everywhere. Eucalyptus trees, which are known for being vulnerable during strong winds, lived up to their reputation. They crushed cars and crashed into houses in cities and towns around the region. Many roads were blocked. 

Charlotte Crysdale's Nissan was crushed by a eucalyptus tree in Santa Cruz (Alice Wertz)

Rail tracks used by Caltrain were blocked by trees in Burlingame and Mountain View on Sunday.

Santa Cruz was one hard-hit area with trees causing problems all over the coastal city. In one example, an approximately 150-foot tall eucalyptus tree came down and totaled several cars.

"I heard this big crash," said 15-year-old Theo Gradek. "I went over to see what it was. As I was standing there, my dad warned us of another tree about to fall. It was just kind of crazy. I didn't have time to have emotions."

There was dangerous flooding in the South Bay. San Jose evacuated people, mainly unhoused, who were living along the Guadlupe River. The river overflowed its banks and was seen gushing on Sunday. Some people and their dogs were rescued from an island in the river that was quickly becoming covered by rising floodwaters. Morgan Hill also experienced significant flooding.

A large piece of roofing became dislodged from a San Francisco home on February 4, 2024. (KTVU FOX 2)

The winds created other hazards. In San Francisco, a large portion of a roof was knocked loose from a home.

More than four inches of rain fell over a 48-hour period in many locations, including Lake Sonoma, Fairfax, Loma Prieta and Saratoga. The San Francisco airport got 1.7 inches of rain, Oakland picked up 1.27 and San Jose received 1.19 inches.

There was a greater risk of avalanches on Monday in the Lake Tahoe basin, officials said. There was more than a foot of new snow on the ground in many parts of the Sierra Nevada range from the weekend blizzard. 

The worst of the storm had moved out of the Bay Area by Monday, though scattered showers are likely in the Santa Cruz mountains and South Bay. 

School closings

In San Francisco, Denman Middle School is closed due to a power outage, the district announced.

San Jose: East Side Union High School District announced the following schools will be closed:

  • Apollo High School
  • Calero High School
  • Calero-Adult Transition Program South
  • Oak Grove High School
  • W.C. Overfelt High School
  • W.C. Overfelt Adult Center
  • Yerba Buena High School

In Sonoma County, the following districts announced they would be closed Monday:

  • Bennett Valley Union
  • Credo High School
  • Dunham School District
  • Forestville Union School District
  • Fort Ross Elementary
  • Guerneville School District
  • Harmony Union School
  • Horicon School District
  • Kashia School District
  • Mark West Union School District
  • Monte Rio Union School District
  • Montgomery Elementary
  • Santa Rosa City Schools (only Hidden Valley Elementary)
  • Sebastopol Union (only Brook Haven and Park Side elementary schools
  • Sonoma Valley Unified School District (only El Verano Elementary)
  • Twin Hills School District (only Apple Blossom School, Orchard View School and Twin Hills Charter Middle School while SunRidge Charter plans to open)
  • Two Rock Union School District
  • West Sonoma County Union High School District
  • Wright School District