SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) --Throughout the Bay Area the latest El Nino-fueled storm brought the rain we need, but not the problems we don't need.
Friday we saw the kinder, gentler El Nino. One in which raindrops trickled down, as well-spaced storms taking turns delivering much needed water, with so many side benefits.
"It kind of gets rid of the smell downtown," resident Oakland Matt Lew said.
Friday evening, we anticipated a stronger, messier storm, but there were no major accidents. The CHP was as surprised as we were.
CHP Officer Sean Wilkenfeld said, "Which is a great change from what we have been seeing. So I am not sure if people know they need to slow down and use their lights... and if they know to increase following distance than on a normal day..."
If this were a typical rainy day story, you might expect video of a downed tree raising havoc. Instead, Waraner Tree experts said he had routine work of cutting down branches that looked too heavy.
Thankfully, the evening storm didn't cause as many problems as it had in previous weeks.
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However, the bad weather impacted the morning commute on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge where drivers tried to navigate the slick roads.
On the Bay Bridge, wind was a big factor. The warning signs along the span into San Francisco warned drivers about the strong winds.
The strong wind and steady rain made for slow traffic and flooding for the morning commute, which was made even worse by the king tides.
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Huge waves pounded the California coast and the rough surf took out a railing on Beach Street along the Pacifica pier.
The falling rain and rising tide combined into a pool several inches deep in many areas. Caltrans set up cones and signs to warn vehicles of the flooded area. Most drivers cautiously and slowly plowed through the middle lane.
Further north in San Anselmo, rain water runoff spilled into the street and rushed past parked cars.
"My house is protected, I've got lots of sump pumps, I'm not worried," explained Charley Ehmann, a San Anselmo resident.
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Waterlogged ground means big business for Richard Torresan, who is an arborist.
"I've been so busy with saturated ground, you have failures of older trees between 60 to 90 years old, some even 100 years old," he explained. "And if the wind kicks up, that's the thing that knocks them right over."
He says regular tree maintenance will prevent storm related emergencies.
"And if it's a dead tree, remove it before it falls on your house, your car or your kids," Torresan said.
The storm took down trees around the Bay Area in the morning. A large tree came down in Oakland and another one down in Moraga forced drivers to maneuver around it, until crews arrived to close the road.
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