Storm aftermath: Slick roads, fallen trees

(KGO)
March 17, 2012 5:49:55 PM PDT
From downed trees to slick roads and power outages, the Bay Area is dealing with the effects of four days of rain. In the Santa Cruz Mountains, they've been getting their share of rough weather after a relatively calm winter.

The days of soaking rain finally got the better of a huge fir tree which ended its majestic life draped across Highway 9 in Felton right at the intersection of Old Big Trees Road.

Mike Ferrando, a Felton resident, said, "At 6 o'clock on the nose I heard this tree about 150 yards from here snap and I kind of got up quick."

By noon the power was back on, but Ferrando was still waiting for internet service. Even after Caltrans workers cleared the tree from Highway 9, there were still phone and cable TV lines draping alongside the road. That repair job was expected to take several hours this afternoon.

The power outage affected about 50 nearby homes, leaving them dark and without heat for about six hours.

Joyce Riffel, a Felton resident, said, "Oh I left. I mean I get tired of freezing. I have a little gas log fireplace but it doesn't heat the whole house.

Highway 9 was closed all of Saturday morning, forcing drivers to make U-turns. Bay Area native Paul Turney, now living in Singapore and back to see family, was hoping for a leisurely drive but ended up having to take an alternative route.

Driving has been treacherous at the usual spots in the Santa Cruz Mountains. A mini-van ended up on its side on Highway 17 near Laurel Road. CHP says speed and wet roads appear to be factors. The driver is okay.

Officers have been trying to get drivers to slow down. A CHP officer said, "We're out here running some slow traffic breaks just up and down the hill, trying to slow people down."

A high surf warning goes into effect at 9 p.m. and is set to last until 3 p.m. Sunday. Swells are expected to increase through the afternoon and breakers could reach 17 feet. There may be possible rip currents and beach erosion.

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