Storm brings flooding, damage to Bay Area

ByNick Smith KGO logo
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Bay Area deals with rainstorm damage
After a heavy downpour Tuesday night brought flooding, there was a messy commute and damage to homes Wednesday morning.

A large storm system brought flooding to many parts of the Bay Area and damaged homes and business; caused traffic delays and crashes; created potholes and sinkholes; and felled trees. [br /][br /]Despite the traffic headaches and damage, the much-needed rain was still a welcome sight for many. [br /][br /]An Urban and Small Stream Flood Advisory was issued for the Bay Area for Wednesday. A High Wind Advisory was issued for the Bay Bridge and San Mateo Bridge. [br /][br /][b][url HREF="" TARGET="" REL=""]PHOTOS: Strong rain and winds hit the Bay Area[/url][/b][br /][post ID="418979" /][br /][br /]Wet weather impacted air travel to Bay Area airports. Flight officials at the San Francisco International Airport said flights were delayed around 90 minutes. One hundred and fifty flights were canceled at SFO. San Jose Mineta International had over 60 flights delayed and a couple of cancellations. There were no major problems being reported at Oakland International Airport.[br /][br /]In the Santa Cruz Mountains, the storm caused trees to fall, downed power lines and there were mudslides.[br /] [br /]The rain blanketed the Santa Cruz Mountains, and came down hard and fast for hours.[br /][br /]Just before 2 a.m., a CVS Pharmacy sustained damage severe enough to force it to close its doors for the day. Fire crews were shocked with what they found.[br /][br /]"Took a look to the left and you could see that the roof had collapsed and there was a good amount of water coming from the ceiling area," said Captain Dan Bonfante.[br /][br /][photo ID="421423" /][br /][br /]Near Grahm Hill and Mount Hermon Roads, city crews say wind and rain damage have shorted the box controlling the traffic signal. The red and green lights were displaying at the same time. [br /][br /]But the road hazards continued on Bear Creek Road off of Highway 9. A mud and rock slide blocked the south lane of traffic. Fire crews pulled double duty, directing drivers around boulders the size of a small car. [br /][br /]But despite damage and inconvenience, residents of Santa Cruz County seem to be taking it all in stride.[br /][br /]"It's very good for California, throughout the whole state. I'm happy," said one resident.[br /][br /]Slick roads in the South Bay led to dozens of spin-out's and collisions. [br /][br /]Two people were injured when a minivan lost control on Blossom Hill Road, striking an on-coming SUV. It was raining hard just before the accident.[br /][br /]"Two were transported to local hospitals, and one in serious condition, one in moderate condition," San Jose fire Capt. Reggie Williams said. "An additional patient signed a refusal of care here on the scene and was not transported."[br /][br /][url HREF="" TARGET="" REL=""][b]VIDEO: Slick roads caused by storm leads to crashes, traffic jams[/b] [/url][br /][post ID="421390" /][br /][br /]Marin County had pretty much all it could handle from Tuesday's storm, but residents are dealing with even more moisture Wednesday morning. [br /][br /][url HREF="" TARGET="" REL=""][b]VIDEO: Mill Valley residents urged to stay home due to flooding, traffic[/b][/url][br /][post ID="420580" /][br /][br /]Water levels rose up to two feet in parts of Petaluma, swamping the city's storm drains and trapping two drivers whose cars got stuck.[br /][br /]The incident occurred on Lakeville Street and police were forced to close the road.[br /][br /][photo ID="421313" /][br /][br /]A large eucalyptus tree fell and nearly swallowed a home in Half Moon Bay.[br /][br /]The tree stood at least 80 feet before it toppled Wednesday afternoon. Tons of branches covered two cars.[br /][br /][photo ID="421296" /][br /][br /]Nobody was hurt and residents said they heard the tree collapse from inside the home.[br /][br /]"We heard the biggest boom I've ever heard in my life and I thought, Wow, if that's thunder because of the weather today, that's the biggest thunder I've ever heard," homeowner Michael Becker said. "And then I thought that was so big that it might be a propane tank blowing up. My wife came running in from the other room and said the tree fell down and hit the house."[br /][br /]The homeowner said he had to crawl through his front door, because the tree blocked much of the doorway. He also thanked sheriff's deputies and firefighters for their quick response.[br /][br /]The heavy rain caused a real mess in one-block of San Francisco's Mission District.[br /][br /]Some homes along Folsom Street were flooded by smelly sewage water. Residents used pumps to get the water out. At a furniture store, water covered the office floor.[br /][br /]"It's just a lot of time to lift everything up, to clean everything," Cleto Gonzalez of Hildebrand Furniture said. "And all the floors in the office need to be ripped out again. It is raised up six-inches, but all the wood underneath is now saturated with sewer (water)."[br /][br /][photo ID="421334" /][br /][br /]Residents say this is a common problem in the area and that sewage has seeped up into their homes four times in the past seven years during intense rainstorms.[br /][br /]An auto repair shop at 17th Street in San Francisco flooded and water got into the engines of three vehicles that were already in for repairs.[br /][br /]Sandbags didn't do much to keep the water out. The sewage water didn't just cover the shop's floor, it also got into the office.[br /][br /]City workers arrived by mid-morning to help residents and employees clean up the mess.[br /][br /][b][url HREF="VIDEO: Bay Bridge pothole creates rainy commute headache[br /]" TARGET="" REL=""]VIDEO: Bay Bridge pothole creates rainy commute[/url][/b][br /][post ID="421250" /][br /][br /]At one San Francisco coffee shop, a sign outside Stable Cafe says it will be closed for several days due to flooding. Water almost a half-a-foot deep covered the kitchen floor, it even flipped over several appliances.[br /][br /]"All these appliances are gone. They are bad," said Francisco Garcia. "They need to be replaced. All the food, everything that touched the water, including drinks and wine and sodas is garbage now."[br /][br /][photo ID="421341" /][br /][br /]Sewage water has damaged the cafe three other times. The owner says it is caused by sewage pipes from several areas connecting underneath their street and overflowing. Cleanup is expected to take about four days.[br /][br /]A silver lining in the recent storm clouds -- most of the waterfalls at Yosemite National Park are gushing in all their glory.[br /][br /][photo ID="421372" /][br /][br /]This includes upper Yosemite Falls, which, according to park officials is going full force now.[br /][br /]Many of the park's waterfalls were completely dry before the rain started falling. [br /][br /]Send us your photos and video of the thunder and lightning. You can email them to or upload them here on our [url HREF="" TARGET="" REL=""]uReport page[/url] or directly through the [url HREF="" TARGET="" REL=""]ABC7 News and ABC7 Weather apps[/url].