Atmospheric river pummels Bay Area with heavy rain, strong winds

ByABC7News.com staff via KGO logo
Tuesday, December 14, 2021
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Highway 92 towards Half Moon Bay flooded and crews spent Monday evening unclogging drains along Highway 82 in Burlingame, San Mateo, and Hillsborough.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- An atmospheric river is bringing flooding and power outages to the Bay Area. The storm has increased in strength to a Strong-3 on our Storm Impact Scale.

The strongest rains and gustiest winds will pummel the Bay Area through 6 p.m. Thunderstorms are possible for the rest of the day.

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

Santa Cruz County residents endure atmospheric river

As expected, Monday's atmospheric river impacted Santa Cruz County along with most of Northern California.

The heavy rain made for a difficult commute along major highways and smaller roads throughout the Santa Cruz mountains.

Though heavy rain was what caught most of the attention of drivers, high winds and debris in the roadway also caused traffic problems.

"We're seeing a lot of little pocket slides, little tiny mudslides, rockslides that come down into the roadway," said Santa Cruz County spokesperson Jason Hoppin. "Our crews are out there patrolling their areas, they're cleaning those up as they find them and (are trying) to keep the roads passable."

Residents who live along the San Lorenzo River tell ABC7 that the water levels have grown higher than they've seen in years.

Another big concern in Santa Cruz County has been downed power lines, Hoppin says there have been outages largely driven by trees coming down and hitting wires.

Hoppin says PG&E is working to restore power outages throughout the county as they happen.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office issues evacuation warnings for areas in the San Lorenzo Valley and CZU burn scar. See below to find out what zones are being impacted.

Tree falls onto home in Felton

A massive tree fell onto a home in Felton overnight. Firefighters responded to the scene, but it's not clear whether anyone was hurt.

Flooded creeks, toppled trees wreak havoc across East Bay

In the East Bay, creeks flooded all over Alameda county causing some roads to be closed Monday evening.

At Lincoln Park in Alameda, a large tree toppled over right onto a playground.

"We got an email from ARPD that said our park was demolished completely by a tree so we had to come check it our for ourselves and it is a lot worse than we expected," said Kristen Goin, who lives near the park.

The Goin family says they take their son frequently to play in that park. They stayed home throughout most of the day during the storm, and they are happy they were not near the park when the tree fell.

"We would come once a month," she said. "He was going to be doing winter camp in the park, but now I don't know what we will do during winter break."

Caltrans works into the night clearing storm drains

The rain caused problems along Peninsula roadways.

Highway 92 towards Half Moon Bay flooded and crews spent Monday evening unclogging drains along Highway 82 in Burlingame, San Mateo, and Hillsborough.

We caught up with a Caltrans crew unclogging drains who told us they had dealt with car wrecks, floods, and small sink holes.

Peninsula neighborhood on alert as rain brings flashback of October's massive flooding

As winds and rainfall intensifies residents along Landing Lane in Millbrae are on standby.

"My biggest concern is I hope the wind stops soon because if it keeps on raining it might flood my property," said Norris Song, Millbrae resident.

In October, over 2-feet of water flooded homes and cars in this neighborhood. Sunday night, Norris is hoping to stay ahead of any potential flooding.

"We prepared the sandbags and my garage. I have shelves where I put everything above the shelf just in case," said Song.

TIPS: Here's how to use sandbags and prevent flooding

Even though only an inch and a half of rain is expected to hit this area residents are hoping their drain system works.

"Part of the problem is the infrastructure with the sewer lines. They have never been replaced on our block, as well as the streets have never been paved since I've lived here," said Eva Erwyn, Millbrae Resident.

Ahead of the next days of rainfall, residents stacked sand bags against their garage doors. Eva Erwyn placed a plastic tarp and bricks against her garage hoping this will keep the water out.

Her home was among many that flooded less than two months ago.

"The sewage overflowed as well. So I've had sewage in my garage, sewage in my family room," said Erwyn.

Heavy rain is also impacting areas in Pacifica where waves can reach past 20-feet in the next 24 hours.

"It blows the water in your face. The rain coming down isn't so bad but that wind gets really strong at the end of the pier," said Mike Pointer, Pacifica Resident.

Meanwhile PG&E workers are standing by to respond to potential widespread power outages.

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