• WEATHER ALERT Winter Weather Advisory

Bay Area recovering from brief but powerful storm

December 29, 2010 7:17:29 PM PST
The worst of the storm is over, but wet roads, downed trees and power outages are still affecting many in the Bay Area.

North Bay

The National Weather Service issued two separate flood warnings for the North Bay Tuesday night, they have since been lifted. There was flooding in Tomalas and parts of Sonoma and Marin Counties.

Residents in San Anselmo closely monitored the Corte Madera Creek. There have been problems in the past with the creek overflowing, but it never reached a flood stage.

South Bay

Highway 17 in Santa Cruz is re-opened after the wet weather caused two accidents early Wednesday morning. A tree fell and blocked both southbound lanes of Highway 17 near Pasatiempo around 3 a.m.. The CHP says a Toyota Corolla was the first vehicle to hit the tree, then a tanker trailer was unable to stop and hit the tree, damaging its suspension system. There were no injuries in the crash.

East Bay

There were a number of car accidents all around the East Bay Tuesday night.

A tree fell closing the freeway onramp onto I-80 at the El Portal exit in San Pablo. It caused one driver to crash, but he was uninjured. Another car accident happened on southbound I-680 in Walnut Creek.

In the flood prone Tara Hills neighborhood in San Pablo, many storm drains were clogging up with debris.

Power outages

More than 1,500 customers in the Bay Area are without power right now.

Most of the outages are in the East Bay and North Bay. About 250 outages are reported in the South Bay - and only a few in San Francisco.

PG&E says all of these outages are new, caused by high winds. The utility says all the outages from Tuesday night's storm have been restored.

Sierra

The snowboarding and skiing should be good in the Sierra. But what's good on the slopes makes for dangerous driving conditions on the road. There was plenty of snow Tuesday night and chain requirements remain in place Wednesday morning. Motorists traveling on Interstate 80 from Whitmore to Truckee, as well as on Highway 50, must use chains.

Southern California

In Southern California, more rain means more worries about renewed flooding and mudslides.

Communities still reeling from the effects of last week's storms are racing against the clock to try and clear through the mountain of debris and mud. They are doing this even as they pile up sandbags to try and prevent anticipated overflow from drainage canals that may be unable to absorb the impact of the latest rains. With the earth already oversaturated, the fear is that even a little bit of rain may do a lot more damage.

Northeast flight delays

Of course, what's happening in California is mild in comparison to the northeast.

On Tuesday, four international flights were stuck on the tarmac for up to ten hours at New York's JFK airport because customs wasn't staffed. At least 6,000 flights have been canceled since Sunday at all three major airports in the New York city area. A thousand of them were canceled Tuesday. Airline officials say many people won't get out until New Year's at the earliest. Some analysts say all of the disruptions could cost the airline industry upwards of $150 million.

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