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Storm causes trees to fall, power outages

March 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
In Marin County Tuesday night the water rushed and trees fell, causing power outages. Some flooding still remains along Shoreline Highway near Highway 101. That's one of the low spots in Marin County. Much of today there was a dark blob over the North Bay, dumping rain and bringing heavy wind.

The downside of living in a wooded paradise is trees can fall. Around 7 p.m. 100-foot oak tree toppled onto a home on Cascade Drive in Fairfax. There were people inside but no one was hurt. A neighbor says it turned into a disaster block party.

"Oh, I heard... I thought was a jet plane and said, 'What the bleep was that?' maybe a jet plane going by. Then I thought it was an earthquake. Looked around, came out, saw the neighbors in the street and saw the tree on the ground," said D. Lee Benson, a neighbor.

The Fairfax-San Anselmo Creek was roaring Tuesday night. It's still a long way from flood stage, but it's got the attention of Wendy Orear who lives alongside the rushing water.

"It appeals to a side of me that gets excited about nature and there's that side of it, but then there's the other side of me that realizes that it's fairly close to my living space, so it's a little mixed actually," said Wendy Orear, Fairfax Resident

Storm water is gushing out of a municipal drain right next to the creek bank.

"You can see when you take a look over there, it's actually eroding the tree and the bank, so I'm just concerned over time what that might mean to the hillside and to my home," said Orear.

In Larkspur, Bette Lui was cooking with gas. That was the only utility that was working around dinner time. Her home on Madrone Avenue and about 600 others went dark for about two hours when power lines came down.

"I got home about a half an hour ago and went to turn on the lights and realized there was a little power outage. It was actually a brown out. So we're prepared," said Lui.

Part of Panoramic Highway on Mt. Tamalpais was blocked Tuesday afternoon because of a rockslide. Also an off-duty Marin County Sheriff's deputy suffered bruises to his face when his personal car spun out on Highway 37 near Novato and hit a guard rail.

Storm causes problems in East Bay

When a high-voltage power line fell on top of an AC Transit bus, the passengers did the right thing -- they stayed on the bus.

PG&E crews say Park Boulevard from Highway 13 to Estates Drive will be closed until 2 a.m. There was another close call in Pittsburg around 7:30 p.m. The CHP says it was responding to a three-car collision on westbound Highway 4, in Pittsburg, when another car lost control and crashed into the scene, injuring one of the drivers who was standing next to the guard rail.

The constant rain, in the East Bay, was enough to cause a small power outage in Concord, at Monument Boulevard and Reganti Drive. PG&E says a power pole was already damaged from wood rot, but this weather finally did it in.

And earlier on Tuesday afternoon, some gusty winds caused a 60 foot tree to Snapp and fall onto an abandoned apartment complex in Castro Valley. No one was injured.

San Francisco International Airport Delays

Rainy weather in the Bay Area today caused flight delays and more than 100 flight cancellations at San Francisco International Airport.

As of 9 p.m., 148 flights had been canceled -- 72 departures and 76 arrivals. Of those cancellations, 116 were short-haul flights, airport duty manager John Ginty said.

SFO was experiencing arrival and departure delays of about one hour tonight for transcontinental flights and anywhere from one to four hour delays for short-haul flights, Ginty said.

The weather-related ground delay program is in effect through 1 a.m. and airport officials expect flights to be on time Wednesday morning.

According to the National Weather Service, showers are expected on and off tonight and into the mid-morning Wednesday.

However, Wednesday's showers are not expected to cause as much havoc for flights as they did today, forecaster Bob Benjamin said.

"Conditions won't be anything like this morning or this afternoon," Benjamin said.

By midday Wednesday, the scattered showers will have moved out of the area, he said.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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