Rain causes problems in the Peninsula

January 25, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
About two inches of rain fell in the South Bay on Sunday, where the ground is already heavily saturated.

The recent storms have left the soil extremely saturated in the Peninsula and in the South Bay. A result of this is that trees are falling over, and they caused serious problems in San Mateo County.

On Sunday, huge eucalyptus trees were blocking westbound Highway 92 to Half Moon Bay. The trees fell over at about 8:30 a.m.

"We were lying in bed and we just all of a sudden heard this big rush sound like a huge wave or a big gush of air," said resident Toni Rodriguez.

The trees took down a series of power lines on the way down. Jim Cozzolino owns a landscaping business near where the trees fell.

"I was out in my driveway sweeping leaves this morning when I heard a pop. What I heard pop was a root structure on the bottom. It popped and I saw it shake and said oh oh, here it comes. Luckily there were no cars underneath," said Cozzolino.

Cozzolino says the rain saturated soil just couldn't support the trees any longer. Cozzilino lent a hand and his small skip loader to help Caltrans clear the debris and re-open the road.

Westbound traffic on Highway 92 was turned around at Skyline Boulevard by the CHP.

"We have alternate routes devil slide is thankfully open so people can take Devil's Slide to Half Moon Bay," said Jack Blomquist from the California Highway Patrol.

Devil's Slide was closed Friday after rains caused a mudslide that kept Highway 1 closed most of the day, and the South Bay saw the first of the heavy rains on Sunday afternoon.

A tree came down on Nevada Street in the Willow Glen area of San Jose. Saturated soil was to blame here as well. Residents say they don't expect to have problems from the next forecasted rains.

"We'll keep our fingers crossed so far this one has been pretty mild," said Willow Glen resident David Weilmunster.

It's not all bad news. The storms have brought much needed water to South Bay reservoirs.

"Our reservoir levels are looking good right now. We've gone from 50-percent to 56-percent capacity just in the past three days," said Susan Siravo from the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

Siravo says just because we are getting the rain now and the reservoirs are looking good, people should still conserve water. We are not very sure how much rain we are going to be getting throughout the rest of the season.

Highway 92 was re-opened on both directions at 2:00 p.m., but the CHP says they are going to re-close westbound into Half Moon Bay and they will re-open it at around 6:00 p.m. on Sunday night.