Rain and wind knock out power to 7200 PG&E customers in Bay Area

Powerful winds and hours of heavy rainfall drenched the Bay Area Saturday. 

Roadways were temporarily blocked by fallen trees in the North and South Bay, and power lines were knocked out too, with the most outages impacting the region near and in the Santa Cruz mountains. At sundown, PG&E was working to restore power to approximately 7200 Bay Area customers, but most had power restored within a few hours.

Some wind gusts reached 70 mph, according to Evelyn Escalera, a PG&E spokesperson, adding that crews were prepared to respond to power outages caused by downed trees, blown-off tree limbs, and fallen power lines.

"We have more than 1400 PG&E personnel out conducting restoration work," Escalera said.

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The utility company also had pre-staged crews out a day in advance, in areas where the storm was forecasted to have the biggest impact. Ninety-nine percent of outages were restored within six hours, according to Escalera.

This December storm brings some relief to our drought-stricken water supply in Santa Clara County, but there's no certainty that more rain is coming over the next few months.

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"It's great to see the rain, especially this early in the wet season. But as we saw last year… we had record-breaking snow in the mountains, rain here locally in December, and then all of a sudden we had the driest start of a year on record in 2022," said Matt Keller, a spokesperson with Santa Clara Valley Water. "We know the tables can turn quickly."

Also impacting the water supply? The Sierra snowpack. At Palisades Tahoe Saturday, a foot of fresh snow combined with windy weather created blizzard-like conditions.

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"About half the water here in Santa Clara County actually comes from outside the county, so we rely on that snowpack in the mountains," Keller said. "So seeing all that snow is great news."