San Francisco cleans up after storm, heavy rainfall

San Francisco is taking stock after this latest round of storms. In the city's Panhandle, a massive eucalyptus came crashing down overnight. 

Crews worked hard through the morning to clear the tree. Most of it has been cut up and removed, but it's easy to see the damage it's left behind - a light pole knocked down, and two of the five cars it smashed when it came crashing down. 

A band of storms rolled through San Francisco, starting Thursday afternoon and intensifying overnight. The rains dumped down overnight as the winds picked up.

Neighbors knew the moment the gusts and rain brought down this eucalyptus tree. 

"Around 12:30 a.m. I was in my kitchen and I heard a big sound," said Mardena McPhail. "It sounded like a big whooshing sound. Like, 'whoosh,' and then the ground shook. I could feel it shaking in the building."

The tree sent literal shock waves into nearby buildings and proverbial shock waves through the neighborhood. 

"My dog was barking, and I looked out and said, 'oh my God, that tree has fallen,'" said McPhail. "Car alarms were going off. We saw a man going up and down between the branches. You know, I guess it was his car he was looking at." 

The tree smashed five cars, and at one point blocked all four lanes of Oak Street, a major commute route from the Sunset and Richmond districts into the city's downtown.

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San Francisco's Recreation and Parks Department says the rain and wind proved to be too much for the tree. 

"You've got a combination of things. You've got saturated soils, you've got sustained winds, and you've got wind gusts, 50 miles per hour," said Robert Salas with the department.

Fortunately, no one was injured in this incident. The department says the city's parks are safe, but they are warning people to be aware of their surroundings, and say being too close to big trees in the middle of a storm is not recommended. 

"We want park visitors just to be alert when they're outside," said Daniel Montes from San Francisco's Recreation and Parks Department. "Healthy trees and also limbs can snap even during storms and during wet windy weather."

The rain also flooded Peacock Meadow, the home of the temporary art installation "Entwined," featuring a beautiful LED light show. 

Organizers had hoped to have a closing ceremony Saturday, but the wet weather means that event is now canceled. 

"The goodbye party is not going to happen at this moment because of the wet windy weather. This area tends to get a little bit flooded. So, it's just not safe to have the party right now."

Keep in mind we have more of this wet weather inbound, so San Francisco will likely see more trees down in the days to come. If the tree simply falls you can call 311, but if it brings down power lines, that's an emergency, and should call 911 instead.