• WEATHER ALERT Winter Weather Advisory

More wet, windy weather headed to Bay Area

December 19, 2010 6:35:17 PM PST
More than 8,000 PG&E customers were without power in the Bay Area Sunday morning due to weather-related outages, a utility spokesman said.

Stormy weather coming through the Bay Area has knocked down power lines and caused equipment to malfunction, leaving customers in the dark throughout the region.

The majority of the outages are in the South Bay, where about 5,325 customers were without power as of 11 a.m. Most of the affected customers are in the area of either south San Jose or Morgan Hill, PG&E spokesman J.D. Guidi said.

There were also about 1,565 customers without power along the Peninsula, and 885 in the East Bay, primarily in Union City and Fremont, Guidi said. There were also about 175 customers without power in the North Bay and 100 in San Francisco.

Because of the widespread outages, and rain and strong winds expected to continue for the next couple of days, "all of our crews are on standby ready to respond to outages as they occur, and will respond at a moment's notice," Guidi said.

He said PG&E is not giving estimates about when power will be restored to any of the affected customers.

"They're out fighting the conditions, and working as quickly and safely as possible, but it's very hard to set exact times," he said.

Windy conditions

PG&E is facing a multitude of storm-related problems. In Oakland, winds knocked down a tree on Quigley Street near Interstate 580. Firefighters and PG&E crews were dispatched to the scene after the tree fell on a power line leading to one home. The house was damaged and the tree also hit a car that was parked nearby.

A large tree also crashed onto a home in the Sheffield Village area in Oakland Sunday. There were four adults, a baby and two dogs inside the house when the tree came crashing down. No one was hurt.

High winds knocked over a tree and a power pole just south of Point Reyes on Highway 1. A fallen tree also took down some power lines in Wood Acre. Huge limbs blocked Ivy Street in Montara and the wind was also too much for a large tree in Hillsborough which crashed down onto El Cerrito Road damaging a nearby house.

Airport delays

At San Francisco International Airport, inbound flights were being delayed Sunday by an average of two hours now due to low visibility. Passengers have endured delays and a few cancellations all weekend.

The East Coast is used to weather delays, but this weekend, most of the affected airports are west of Denver. Four of Saturday's international flights from London never made it to San Francisco because of heavy snowfall in Europe. That snow also stranded people heading from SFO to London aboard British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

More snow expected in the Sierra

The storms sweeping California may be the largest weather system to hit the state in a decade. In Northern California, officials are expecting at least five inches of rain this weekend and perhaps as much as 15 inches in the Sierra, on top of the snow already there.

Rain, wind and snow are making for tough driving conditions in the mountains. The power has been knocked out to at least 100 homes in the Sierra as snow accumulates on power lines.

Caltrans has set up chain controls on Interstate 80 and Highway 50 leading to Lake Tahoe. If the winter storm continues as expected through midweek, the worst driving conditions may be yet to come in the Sierra.

Bay City News contributed to this report.


Load Comments