OAKLAND - It was a chaotic day for many across the Bay Area like Sam Hindes in Oakland. Hindes walked out of his Montclair home to find an enormous spruce tree on its side and on top of his roommate's cars.
"I was just kind of astounded," said Hindes.
Hindes said he heard the tree fall around 4 a.m. during strong winds.
"So the wind was whipping and howling last really intensely," he said. "I heard a really loud crashing noise in my bedroom on the far side of the house. And I saw a really bright flash of light."
Powerful overnight winds toppled trees, knocked down power lines, and left streets and sidewalks full of debris.
"It sounded like a hurricane," said Andrew Krulewitz of Oakland. A fallen tree came within just inches of his home in Rockridge. "It stopped just feet shy of our building and could have come through the windows. We have neighbors with small children who sleep in those rooms."
Roger Gass, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service said wind gusts reached almost 100 miles per hour in some areas at higher elevations. Gass said, "We had over 90 mile per hour wind gusts up in the North Bay mountains overnight and early this morning. And even in the Diablo Range, another typical windy spot, we had wind gusts up to 71 miles per hour."
Saturday afternoon, PG&E reported nearly 30,000 customers without power.
Rockridge resident Gerry Lazar said her power was knocked out late Friday, and she was trying her best to keep items in her fridge from going bad. Lazar said, "I took a couple things out of the refrigerator and shut it. And I threatened everyone not to open it until this is over so my food doesn’t spoil."