Storm brings hope for winter enthusiasts


The sheets of pouring rain outside brought forth smiles inside the San Francisco Ski and Board Fest. For them, the more rain, the better.

"This rain is snow up there in Tahoe, so all these vendors here have got to drive home through a snowstorm today and we're all happy about that," said event organizer Jimmy McAlpine.

Rain in the Bay Area means skiers will see white very soon and snow season for the vendors means nothing but green.

"Snowflakes look like dollar bills coming from the sky for me," McAlpine said.

However, rain falling from the sky meant headaches on Bay Area roadways. The blustery weather brought a high wind advisory on the Bay Bridge, and drivers following too close and driving too fast prompted the annual plea to slow down from the Highway Patrol.

"Just drive safe and make sure you if you need to stop, slow down first before you come to a stop, and just be aware of other drivers out on the road," said Officer Josh Nelson.

The roads were more than just wet. In some parts, they were a mess. A tree split in San Francisco's Potrero neighborhood and downed power lines briefly affected Muni service while crews battled rain to the make the fix quickly.

The final round of the Charles Schwab Cup Championships at Harding Park was put on hold for two hours because of a rain delay. Central Valley tourists were also forced to put part of their plans on hold because rain might have meant no Raiders game.

"I love the rain. So, other than not going to the football game, it is not putting a damper on my vacation," Shelley Fimbrez of Madera told ABC7.

The only thing it did put a damper on was the view of the city skyline they hoped to see.

For skiers and snowboarders, last year was considered a good weather year compared to the two years before that which were pretty dismal. People in the winter sports industry are hoping the weather means they will be able to head up to the Sierras any day now.

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