From vehicle crashes to flooding: Here's a look at how today's storm impacted Bay Area

ByLena Howland, Ryan Curry and Suzanne Phan KGO logo
Thursday, December 21, 2023
Bus, semi-truck crash on Highway 580 in Castro Valley: CHP
A crash between a bus and a semi-truck hauling trash is one of the many crashes that caused issues on Bay Area roads on Wednesday.

CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. (KGO) -- A crash between a bus and a semi-truck hauling trash is one of the many crashes that caused issues on Bay Area roads on Wednesday.

ABC7's Lena Howland said it blocked the right two lanes of eastbound Highway 580 just past the Eden Canyon exit and it caused some delays for drivers heading east.

Officials say the driver of the semi-truck was the only person injured.

They were taken to the hospital, but their condition is unclear.

Officials say there was only a driver on the bus with no passengers and were not hurt.

While weather may have played a factor, investigators aren't clear on what caused this.

MORE: CHP warning drivers after several fatal Bay Area car accidents in 3 days

27-year-old man dies in crash on Highway 1 in Santa Cruz, CHP says

In Santa Cruz, a 27-year-old man died when his pickup truck crashed off of state Highway 1 on Wednesday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The crash was reported shortly before 7:45 a.m. on southbound Highway 1 north of Morrissey Boulevard.

The 27-year-old Santa Cruz resident was driving a white 2001 Ford F-150 truck when it veered off the highway and overturned. The man, whose name was not immediately available, was pronounced dead at the scene, CHP officials said.

The cause of this crash is under investigation by the CHP.

Wednesday's rain created hazards on East Bay roads

Here's a look at the storm impact in the East Bay.

The rainy mess for drivers continued into Oakland Wednesday morning.

ABC7 saw street flooding and stranded cars on the Interstate 880 northbound on-ramp near Webster St.

According to ABC7's Ryan Curry, potholes on Highway 680 in Pacheco slowed down traffic and left some drivers with flat tires.

"We always tell the customers to let us know right away so we can look into before it becomes an issue," said Kelly Kalfsbeek, spokesperson, Contra Costa County Public Works.

Unfortunately, it became an issue for a few drivers, but the CHP was able to cone it off before more cars got damaged.

MORE: Collision on Richmond-San Rafael Bridge leaves 1 dead, CHP says

In downtown Walnut Creek, it was all awnings and umbrellas.

Anything to escape the rain.

"Enjoying the day. I was going to go on a bike ride, but that is not going to happen anymore," said Owen Skeen from Walnut Creek.

Not a good day for a bike ride, but definitely a good day to start grabbing sandbags.

Last winter, Walnut Creek Public Works had to constantly restock piles like this.

If this winter is anything like the last, they expect many to grabbing more sandbags.

"There was a day where it was just nonstop. I think in one day, this station right here, I think we had 8 to 10-yard dump trucks," said Rich Payne, Walnut Creek Public Works Director.

MORE: Child killed, 2 others injured following solo-vehicle crash in Martinez, CHP says

Wednesday's rain was not the heaviest, but it kept tow truck drivers and city crews busy.

It serves as a reminder, winter is here and more storms could come.

"We have sand and sandbags at all these stations, and if you are in an area that needs sandbags, now is the time to get them," Payne said.

Drivers headed out the door Wednesday morning said they've been dodging all sorts of issues because of the rain.

One man was heading from Mountain View to Santa Cruz for work.

"The roads are kind of crazy," said Joey Vallerga. "Slow and inconsistent, there's puddles, and then there's rocks and then there's potholes, so you've got to kind of miss all of those."

Heavy rain pounded North Bay, causing some big concerns and headaches for drivers and homeowners

Here's a look at the storm impact in the North Bay.

ABC7's Suzanne Phan was in Greenbrae in Marin County. She spoke to Adrian Quijano who had to be extra careful so his shoes and socks don't get soaked by the puddles.

"I parked right in front of it. This is all over around the bay. Just puddles on the freeway, puddles on the parking lot," said Quijano.

But his drive to work Wednesday morning was a little unnerving.

"It was just pouring rain. I kept a good distance from the car in front of me," Quijano said.

For Toby Richards of Marin County, it was a similar story.

"Driving down 101 southbound was very hectic. There is a lot of rain. I saw 4 cars hydroplane multiple times," he said.

MORE: 2 dead, 6 injured after crash on southbound I-680 in Pleasanton, fire officials say

Early Wednesday morning, rain pounded parts of Sonoma County.

From the coast in the town of Jenner to along Highway 116 near Monte Rio where there were debris from a rockslide.

In front of the Monte Rio fire station, the streets flooded from the downpouring rain and runoff.

Hours later, in Santa Rosa, we got a glimpse of a flooded street.

Santa Rosa fire says crews had to go in and clear out the area by hand.

Early Wednesday morning, crews rescued a family along Mark West Station Road near the town of Windsor.

Their 4-door sedan stalled along a flooded road.

"It was still dark. They may not have seen the water. I'm not quite sure. We are always telling people turn around," said Karen Hancock with the Sonoma County Fire District.

A home in Summerhome Park neighborhood in Sonoma County was red-tagged after a massive 250 foot redwood tree came crashing down beside the home early Tuesday morning.

It also took down several powerlines.

"Neighbors told us they had been working to get the tree removed. It was scheduled for January with the impact of this storm coming in, lots of rain, and wind coming in, it partially played a role into the tree coming down," said Hancock.

A reminder for drivers-- take it slow.

Meanwhile, a sandbag station in San Rafael was empty, but city leaders reminded people, the next big storm may be just around the corner.

Marimar Ochoa with Marin County Fire Department said, "Please prepare. The community can prepare by purchasing sandbags. There's also free sandbags in certain jurisdictions across the county. And make sure you are signed up for local emergency alerts."

Bay City News contributed to this report

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