Power outages, flooded roads, toppled trees: storm does number on Bay Area
As the inches of rainfall continued adding up Sunday, so did reports of damage, and power outages.
Late Sunday, PG&E officials said at least 117,828 customers across the Bay Area were without power. By Monday morning, that total had been reduced to roughly 68,000 customers.
Spokeswoman Megan McFarland said the numbers created an "all-hands on deck" effort to restore service.
"We have over three thousand employees and contractors supporting our storm response. We’re bringing in crews from other, less impacted, areas to help with restoration," she said.
Hours of heavy rainfall not only impacted power, but also turned some waterways into waterfalls. In Orinda, strong winds coupled with saturated soil, sent a large tree crashing onto two vehicles, two homes, and, into power lines.
"Everybody’s okay thank god. And that’s what matters, really. It’s okay. We’ll get through it," said a victim of the damage who asked not to be identified by name.
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The same conditions created similar problems in San Francisco’s Forest Hill neighborhood. An already leaning 100-foot tree in the 2100 block of 9th Avenue had no defense for water-logged soil.
Not long after mandatory evacuation orders were issued, the tree was ultimately topped by the weather conditions.
"At San Francisco Public Works, we’ve had crews on throughout the night and into the day, going to triage the most dangerous trees right now. Trees that are blocking roadways. Trees that have brought wires down. Trees that are jeopardizing houses," said spokeswoman Rachel Gordon.
In the East Bay, some roads became rivers due to the heavy rain.
Pacheco Boulevard, Arthur Road, Karen Lane and other thoroughfares in Martinez, were left unpassable and prompted CHP officers to redirect traffic.
Floor waters reportedly as deep as four feet began flowing backward out of the sewers, and rising to the doorsteps of some homes.
Strong winds are also blamed for knocking down scaffolding at a construction site in the San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood. The site is at 9th and Natoma Streets, near the Civic Center, which provides access to Muni and BART transit. Police said no one was hurt, and urged people to avoid that area.
As power restoration progressed overnight Sunday and into Monday, PG&E officials advised people recognize the inherent danger in downed lines, and avoid them.
"Even if it’s on the ground, assume that it’s energized. Call 911 and call PG&E, so that we can come and make the area safe," said McFarland.
San Francisco’s Moscone Center is serving as a temporary shelter Sunday night and Monday for those in need. The center has room for 100 people. Beds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.