Storm prompts temporary San Francisco pier closure, delays hundreds of flights

Saturday’s stormy weather caused flooding, power outages, and led to hundreds of flight delays at SFO. 

By 3 p.m. SFO reported 420 delays – both incoming and outgoing – and 83 cancellations. 

Flooding closed Pier 14 and a stretch of San Francisco’s Embarcadero. High tides and blustery winds sent waves crashing against the sea wall, and sweeping water onto the sidewalk between Howard and Mission Streets. SFAlerts sent out an advisory, urging people to stay away from the area. Traffic control made joggers, cyclists, and pedestrians turn around.

Even some San Francisco residents were surprised to see the amount of flooding along the popular waterfront. "We're here all the time and this is the first time I've ever seen it,” said Bill McClanahan, who was watching the powerful surf with his son, Sammy. “It's definitely an unusual situation."

"It's super windy,” said Morgan Phelps, who just moved to the Bay Area from Atlanta. “The waves look huge, you can see them from my window. We were going to walk to the Ferry building along the water but I don't know, it's bad. Pretty insane. But still beautiful!”

"Typically in this type of weather we see a rise in crashes, a rise in collisions,” said Officer Herman Baza with the California Highway Patrol. He urged drivers to slow down and increase following distance. 

"Just keep that high visual horizon,” said Officer Baza. “Basically just don't look down at your bumper area but always keep looking up so you notice and traffic patterns, notice people slamming on their brakes."