Massive waves and wind batter Embarcadero, halt ferries in San Francisco

Wind pummeled San Francisco Tuesday creating chaos during the evening commute as ferries were halted and a big-rig overturned on the lower deck of the Bay Bridge, bringing traffic to a standstill as it backed up onto surface streets downtown.

Massive waves battered San Francisco's Embarcadero, crashing over the walls and forcing all ferry service to stop due to safety, just as many evening commuters were getting to the gates.

Chris Lencioni says he is a lifelong resident of the Bay Area and went to the water's edge to take video of the waves.

"That is unusual. I've not seen it like this. That's why I came here to take a video to send it to my friends," said Lencioni.

"There's no rain. I didn't expect them to cancel the ferry," said Shu Feng, an Alameda ferry passenger.

Feng and several others decided to try and take other transportation to the East Bay.

"We're going to take BART over to the East Bay and then our cars are all in the same location, so Uber or taxi," said Dan Kaney, who also lives in Alameda.

"I appreciate they're being safe and probably wouldn't feel good if I were on the ferry anyway," said Anna Piller, another commuter from Alameda.

Other ferry passengers waited in long lines for shuttle buses to Marin.

"Crazy waves on the water. Lot of wind.  So the boats got pulled out and went away and we've been waiting an hour to get on a bus," said George Straschnov, a Sausalito Ferry passenger.

The Bay Bridge was also bad for commuters. 

Traffic came to a sudden stop after a big-rig overturned on the lower deck's eastbound lanes. 

Fire officials say the driver was not seriously injured, but the timing came right at the evening commute and backed up traffic throughout downtown San Francisco.

Some drivers said they were waiting for hours on the surface streets, until more lanes were reopened. The big-rig was finally pulled upright and traffic lanes reopened around 8:30 p.m.

The power of the winds shattered a window on a top floor of the Embarcadero high rise tower, causing glass to crash onto the pavement.

Along the Embarcadero, a man named Joseph recorded cell phone video of a massive tree toppling in the wind. Joseph didn't want his face on camera but told us said it narrowly missed the tent where he is living.

"I felt the ground started moving felt like the earth was breathing so we thought we'd better get out now," said Joseph.

The San Francisco Fire Department says they were receiving hundreds of calls throughout the city about downed trees.

Some involved serious injuries. At Polk and Post, two people were critically injured when a tree fell on a car.

Emergency crews also treated one person near Ellis and Leavenworth.

Another person was critically injured at Lincoln and 23rd Avenue, near Golden Gate Park.

Shortly after 6:30 p.m., yet another call came for a person trapped in a car under a tree at Lake Merced and Brotherhood Way. Fire crews arrived to find a terrifying scene.

"The car was on fire with a large tree over the compartment. "They had to reach into this car that was on fire and bring the victim out of the car, that victim is unfortunately in critical condition," said Capt. Jonathan Baxter, a San Francisco  Fire Department spokesman.

Mission Street between 2nd Street and Beale was also blocked to traffic into the night. There were reports of falling glass from surrounding buildings.