From washed-away piers to devastating flooding, here's a look at storm damage around Bay Area

ByABC7 News Staff KGO logo
Friday, January 6, 2023
Here's a look at storm damage around Bay Area
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From power outages to landslide threats, damage can already be seen across San Francisco Bay Area from the severe Level 5 storm battering California.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- From washed-away piers to devastating flooding, the San Francisco Bay Area is trying to clean up after a deadly atmospheric river battered the region Wednesday.

Here's a look at where there are reports of downed powerlines, landslide threats and toppled trees due to a Level 3 storm on the exclusive ABC7 Storm Impact Scale:

LIVE UPDATES: Newsom issues State of Emergency for CA to help with storm response

East Bay

Residents of 15 homes in Richmond voluntarily evacuated Tuesday night and Wednesday after the hillside above the Seacliff development began showing signs of mudslides.

Mayor Tom Butt said in his e-forum newsletter Wednesday that arrangements were made for residents without places to go to stay in an Emeryville hotel. Butt said Seacliff Drive was closed between Seacliff Way and Canal Boulevard, while Seaview Drive and Seacliff Way from Seacliff Drive to Admiralty Way were also closed.

Butt said a geologist was on site Wednesday morning, as well as a local contractor working on mitigating the damage.

Richmond Police Sgt. Donald Patchin said there's no estimate as to when people can get back to their homes.

"It's just a waiting game right now, with this atmospheric river coming in over the next few days," Patchin said.

In El Cerrito, large tree came down at around 5:30 p.m. The homeowner told us she has no electricity and PG&E won't be able to reconnected that power until the tree is cleaned up.

Another tree came down on a home in Richmond. A homeowner was inside, she is okay but tree actually pierced through the roof and came into her son's bedroom.

Around 6 p.m., a tree came down along the Richmond Parkway. Traffic in both directions was blocked but tree crews were able to pull the tree to the side and open traffic a couple hours later.

City officials in Oakland have joined numerous municipalities around the Bay Area in declaring a local state of emergency Wednesday due to the winter storm still pummeling the region.

The emergency declaration allows the city to call in any and all staff to respond to emergency conditions as they occur overnight. The city's public works, transportation, fire and police departments have all staffed up to manage increased service needs, according to the announcement.

The fire department's crisis responders have been working with unhoused residents to inform them of shelter options and coordinating transportation for those who need it. In addition, the Ira Jinkins Center -- at 9175 Edes Ave. near the Coliseum -- will be providing three free meals on Thursday as well as providing emergency shelter to all ages and families.

The city's year-round shelter at St. Vincent de Paul, located at 675 23rd Street in West Oakland, has doubled their bed capacity to serve the homeless through Friday morning enabling them to shelter up to 100 people.

For residents who need a temporary refuge from the wet weather, or for those experiencing a power outage, all 18 public library locations are open and have power. Thursday hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and the main library is open until 8 p.m.

For the latest information on Oakland's winter storm updates, see oaklandca.gov/topics/winter-storms.

"I want to be home and I just want to be at home where i feel comfortable!"

The tears of an 11-year-old represent an East Oakland community looking for answers. Sureneity Mendez-Abendano and his family were displaced after their East Oakland apartment complex, Coliseum Connections, flooded, causing it to loose power Saturday.

VIDEO: Oakland apartment residents displaced by flooding, at least 20 cars under water

Five days later and there is still no electricity. Families have been put up at a nearby hotel.

"I want to be at home where I can do whatever I want, read, be on my phone, and be a kid," said Mendez-Abendano.

Thursday night, a meeting was held among displaced families who say they want answers.

"Mostly I'm frustrated, I can't even wash clothes. I have a bucket of my dirty clothes in the back of my car," said Faviola Abendano.

FPI Management runs the complex. In a statement they say they have paid for resident accommodations at the hotel and say they are working with vendors to get the water pumped out of the garage and restore power to the building.

In that statement though, there is no time time on when residents will be able to go home and more rain is expected in the coming week.

Some though are optimistic, saying after Thursday's meeting they feel that management and city officials are taking the matter seriously.

"Our home doesn't have any power, doesn't have any running water, it's dark and we want answers and we're starting to get them. As the people now know it's a process," said Jasmine Braggs who has been displaced and is staying at the hotel.

North Bay

A 2-and-a-half-year-old boy has died after a redwood tree fell on a double-wide mobile home on Wednesday evening in Sonoma County as a massive storm pummeled the state, authorities say.

The incident occurred in Occidental as hurricane-force winds battered parts of California as part of the "bomb cyclone" that has also brought heavy rains and flooding, according to Ron Lunardi, the fire chief in Occidental.

RELATED: 2-year-old boy killed in Sonoma Co. after redwood tree fell on home identified

The toddler has been identified by his family through a GoFundMe as Aeon Tocchini. According to the website, Aeon who was also known as "Goldie" shined like the sun. They say he loved to "dance, music moved his soul. He was kind, gentle, and had the most loving spirit."

Highway 116, the road to Guerneville was wet, windy and treacherous. Wednesday's storm knocked out power to most of the town, but that's not the biggest worry here.

Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins says, the Russian River is rising, although remains below flood stage, the next storm is likely to change that.

"It's not a matter of if the river floods, it's when. There won't be any time for the river to go down between atmospheric river events," said Supervisor Hopkins.

LIVE: Track rain in San Francisco Bay Area with Live Doppler 7

San Francisco

Yellow caution tape near Chrissy Field's warming hut in San Francisco didn't stop some people from crossing to get a better look at waves crashing into the shore near the Golden Gate Bridge. Some minor flooding carried debris, including rocks, sticks and garbage into a path normally accessible by pedestrians.

As rain came down Thursday afternoon the Marina was mostly quiet with light traffic and just a few people outside. The East Beach at Chrissy Beach, a spot typically popular for dogs and their owners even on a weekday, was fairly desolate. Waves wiped out much of the beach with water coming farther up than it typically does.

San Francisco Public Works crews were out all night to clear downed trees, drain flooded intersections and clear blocked walkways after Wednesday's billowing winds and drenching rainfall.

A spokesperson from the city's emergency operations center said Thursday that there has been 445 incidents of fallen trees and branches around San Francisco in the last week, with 286 of those being reported in the last 24 hours.

Crews have worked continuously to clear storm-related threats to the public, like sink holes, downed power lines, flooded areas and blocked passageways.

Emergency operations officials remind residents that sandbags are still available at the Public Works' operations yard at Kansas and Marin streets until 8 p.m., or until supplies runs out. Each household or storefront can receive five sandbags

On Wednesday, ABC7 News reporter Lyanne Melendez said glass was falling from two broken windows at the Fox Plaza Building, forcing the closure of a part of Market and Polk.

RELATED: More than 76K customers without power, PG&E says

South Bay

The Santa Cruz County coastline has taken a serious beating from the most recent atmospheric river storm.

Tweets from the county's official Twitter account show "significant damage" to Capitola and Seacliff piers.

The county announced Thursday morning that the coast was extraordinarily dangerous because of high tides and enormous waves.

People should avoid all bodies of water while coastal areas are under a flood warning by the National Weather Service until 4 p.m. Thursday.

Multiple road closures are also in effect throughout Santa Cruz County due to flooding.

Peninsula

After the heavy rain caused Belmont creek to overflow last weekend, Belmont officials have closed multiple city streets as a preventative measure ahead of the worse part of the storm. Business owners in the area say they as ready as they can be.

San Mateo County Public Works Department has used 275 tons of sand and over 18,000 sandbags so far Wednesday, but at this point there is shortage of both supplies. We've seen people bringing their garbage bags hoping that can help them prevent flooding to their property.

In the Peninsula, over 26,000 PG&E customers were left without power after storm.

"All I could hear it was the wind and it was strong. I haven't heard anything like that in a long time," said Matthew Tan, Daly City resident.

Matthew's neighborhood in Daly City lost power around 4 p.m. Wednesday. He is one of thousands scrambling Thursday.

"I need to use my car because I need to charge my phone. My place has no power and I can't charge my phone," said Tan.

Thursday morning, PG&E crews were out assessing some of the worst damages. The Peninsula and North Bay are among the hardest hit regions in the Bay Area.

"In some areas winds topped 100 per hour. So, the damage that we are seeing is very significant. Our crews are responding in full force," said Mayra Tostado, PG&E spokesperson.

At Saint Francis Square shopping center in Daly City, multiple businesses had to close. Johnny Air Cargo's manager was using small generators to stay open.

"This one stays on for around 6 hours. Then I have a smaller one that is good for maybe 4 to 5 hours," said Harry Banzon, Johnny Air Cargo manager.

Three doors down, Valerio's tropical bakeshop is getting ready to lose anywhere between $80,000 to $10,000 Thursday.

"All those items that you can see on the fridge. That is a lot of money that we need to throw out. So we lose a lot of money. It's a double whammy for us and then we will start all over from scratch," said Roberto Gonzalez, Valerio's tropical Bakeshop owner.

Bay City News Service has contributed to this article.

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