Storm leaves mess, slows traffic across Bay Area

(KGO)
April 13, 2012 9:35:55 PM PDT
The ferocious storm that tore through the Bay Area Thursday night knocked down trees and power lines, and triggered mudslides.

Crews in Piedmont had to cut apart a tree that fell, made its way down a hillside, and came to rest on Moraga Avenue. Police say it happened around 7 a.m. The tree gave way because the ground is oversaturated from the heavy rains that fell over the last couple days, blocking traffic in the area with debris and the tree.

Neighbors say that when the tree came down, they saw a spectacular flash of light. "I was sitting at the window doing meditation and suddenly I saw the sun fell. It was such a huge glow of white light that I looked around and I saw that tree was just coming down," Ramsh Patel told ABC7.

In Berkeley, a tree went down on Prince Street. No one was injured there and it missed power lines and nearby cars. In Oakland, on Glenn Manor Place near Grass Valley Road, a huge tree was uprooted by the wind and rain. There was a similar scene in the Santa Cruz Mountains where Public Works crews have been dealing with a massive oak tree that fell onto Glenwood Road about 1.5 miles off Highway 17. That tree snagged cable and phone lines, but no power lines.

Throughout the Bay Area, drivers had to contend with slick roads and street flooding. In Castro Valley, another mudslide on Crow Canyon Road squeezed traffic down to one lane. CHP officers say one driver drove into a ditch because of the muddy mess, but there were no injuries in the accident. Alameda County Public Works crews were dispatched to the area to clear the mess.

In Contra Costa County, Moraga police are urging drivers to avoid Canyon Road after the rain caused flooding and triggered a rockslide near Pinehurst Road. Crews have begun cleaning up the mess, but they will need heavy equipment to clear some of the more massive boulders blocking the road.

In South San Francisco, crews are working to clear a lot of standing water from a key connector ramp on the peninsula. The CHP shut down the 101 connector ramp to westbound 380, where Caltrans crews are trying to pump out more than a foot of standing water.

And, as cleanup from the rain beings, the Sierra is seeing new snow with plenty of fresh powder accumulating in South Lake Tahoe. It is good news for ski resorts like Heavenly, but it could take some patience to get there. Chains or snow tires are required on both I-80 and Highway 50. The same goes for Highway 89 in Squaw Valley.

Throughout the Bay Area, PG&E crews have been scrambling to repair lines. Thousands had their power knocked out during the night.


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