Stormy weather knocks out power, downs trees

March 20, 2011 6:03:28 PM PDT
The rain and wind seemed to be winding down Sunday morning, but it was quite a powerful storm that blew through the Bay Area overnight Saturday. By morning, some residents were dealing with downed power lines and downed trees.

The rain finally stopped but damage and debris from the storm remained all over the Bay Area.

Just before 11 p.m. Saturday, a tree came crashing down in Santa Rosa, on Mountain Grove Parkway, onto a car. No one was injured, but the rear of the car was completely crushed. In San Francisco, the wind and rain brought havoc in the evening. A sign came crashing down in the Tenderloin near Mason and O'Farrell Streets. There was a steady downpour and umbrellas did not help much. A tree also toppled over on Kezar Drive prompting a temporary road closure.

In Hillsborough, neighbors woke up to a mess on La Cumbre Road.

"It sounded like the roof was going to come off. It was amazing. It sounded like a plane taking off or something," Bill Anderson said

One 70-year-old Monterey pine will cost homeowners about $1,500 to clean up. It was a storm that caused headaches around the bay, but not for arborists like Steve Willett who admitted it was a good day to be in his line of work.

The brunt of the weekend storm actually struck the South Bay. As the trees and the rain continued to come down, water level in Santa Clara County had nowhere to go but up. The Lexington Reservoir is almost full from all the rain in the Santa Cruz Mountains, but with water being pushed out faster than it comes in, observers do not predict a spill over. They actually say all the rain is a good thing.

"We welcome this rain because we need it for water supply. It's helpful to end the rainy season with full reservoirs so we can use that water all summer long, all fall, until next rainy seaon," explained Marty Grimes with the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

With reports of downed lines across the region, PG&E crews have been working to restore power, but wet weather and slippery roads have been posed a challenge. More than 13,000 customer lost power at one point or another. By 6 p.m. Sunday, there were still about 9,000 customers without power in the North Bay, 450 on the Peninsula, 450 in the South Bay, 400 in the East Bay, and 50 in San Francisco.

PG&E officials said that for the most part, people would have their power back on by the end of the day, although some may be forced to wait until Monday.


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