Live Bay Area weather updates: Hwy 29 in North Bay closed due to 'hazardous conditions'

ByABC7 News Staff KGO logo
Friday, February 24, 2023
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SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Areas around the Bay Area have already seen snowfall Wednesday and Thursday morning on low-level peaks around the region, and more is on the way.

The Bay Area is bracing for more frigid temperatures and winter storms Thursday into Friday. Thousands of residents, mostly on the Peninsula, still remain without power.

RELATED: Here's where and when snow is possible as Bay Area sees coldest temps of season this week

Power Outages

Here are number of customers impacted as of 2 p.m. Thursday, according to PG&E:

  • San Francisco: 15
  • Peninsula: 17,350
  • North Bay: 223
  • East Bay: 221
  • South Bay: 1,913
  • Total: 19,722

    9 p.m.

    Highway 29 in North Bay closed due to hazardous conditions

    The California Highway Patrol has closed both directions of Highway 29 between Tubbs Lane (Calistoga) and Bradford Road (Napa) due to "hazardous conditions."

    CHP officials are advising drivers to use alternate routes.

    5 p.m.
    Hwy 101 reopens after PG&E closure

    All northbound and southbound lanes of U.S. Highway 101 in Menlo Park, between Marsh and Willow Roads have been reopened, officials say. The lanes were previously closed due to repairs being made by PG&E.

    5 p.m.
    East Bay hills could see few inches of snow Thursday night

    Many in Oakland woke up to some wild weather as they watched the snow come down over the Oakland Hills.

    "People say that there aren't season in California, there are! There are!" Staggs says with a laugh. "It's not like the Midwest. But hey, it's kind of fun and different."

    According to the National Weather Service, Thursday morning's snow fall was light compared to the what could come Thursday night. The East Bay hills could get up to few inches of snow in elevations above 2,000 feet.

    This storm will likely bring winter like conditions, which can mean limited visibility and downed power lines and trees. PG&E is warning customers to be prepared for possible power outages.

    5 p.m.
    Residents in East Palo Alto, Menlo Park deal with extensive power outages

    Power outages across the Bay Area are hitting some families hard, especially in San Mateo County.

    According to PG&E, 4,000 customers in the East Palo Alto, Belle haven and Menlo Park area have been without power. Many people lost power Tuesday.

    Fierce winds knocked down trees and damaged power lines across the Bay. PG&E says a tree along Highway 101 toppled over and damaged a power line.

    To make those emergency repairs, traffic had to be stopped on this Thursday between Marsh Road and Willow Road in Menlo Park.

    In East Palo Alto, Superintendent Gina Sudaria of Ravenswood City School District said five schools were impacted by power outages, so students didn't go to class.

    At Woodland Apartments in East Palo Alto, Nick Hunt has been trying to make the best of a bad situation. His power has been out since Tuesday.

    "With the frost advisory for the past few days, it's been not great. It's definitely been really hard. I can't cook. I think a lot of my stuff is going bad," said Hunt.

    In Menlo Park, Sarah Teichner said her apartment has power - off and on. But there are a lot of families dealing with the cold without heat or electricity.

    "There are people on Partridge in Menlo Park that have been going for two to three days without power. That's a low-cost building, a HUD building, a Section 8 building," said Teichner.

    Late Thursday, PGE officials offered an update on repairs.

    "This is all hands on deck here in San Mateo County, it's our highest priority in the PG&E system," said PGE regional VP Aaron Johnson. "The extent of the damage is beyond anything we've seen in decades."

    Customers in East Palo Alto and Menlo Park are expected to have their power restored by 10 p.m. Thursday night.

    4:45 p.m.
    Residents enjoy snow day in the Santa Cruz Mountains

    The snow continued accumulating in the higher elevations of the Santa Cruz Mountains throughout Thursday afternoon. The news of the snow being so close to home inspired several people to venture out of their communities and see it for themselves.

    "First time I've seen snow in a long time in California this area," said Boulder Creek resident Jordan Roe.

    "We took a drive over the mountains, Highway 9. We were surprised to see the snow over there, it's absolutely gorgeous," said Sue Bowman, "Twelve miles from home, I live in San Jose, we never expected it to snow but it's snowing up there."

    The National Weather Service says a Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for parts of the Santa Cruz mountains from 7 p.m. Thursday until 11 a.m. Friday.

    4:30 p.m.
    North Bay prepares for more snowy cold weather

    In the North Bay, snow, hail and super cold weather is delivering a big punch of Winter to residents.

    Neighbors in Mill Valley stepped outside to a hailstorm Thursday morning, the deluge of tiny pellets lasted for several minutes before melting away.

    Snow fell in the Mendocino County town of Willits, Sky the dog was loving it, he experienced snow for the first time, several inches of snow fell here overnight.

    The face of Mt. St. Helena in Napa County, its elevation 4,000 feet covered in fresh snow, stayed shrouded in clouds most of the day.

    There were flurries on ABC7's Tam Cam. This was likely just a taste of what's to come. Several inches of snow are predicted and are sure to draw a crowd to check it out.

    "It's exciting because it doesn't happen often. It's in our backyard. If you're coming up try to park in Mill Valley and hike up, it's safer than driving," said Marin County Fire Captain Matt Watson.

    In Petaluma, rain not snow made for some slick roadways on highway 101. The CHP is urging everyone to slow down.

    3:45 p.m.
    Oakland Zoo's Glowfari canceled for Thursday night

    Oakland Zoo sent out a notice that its popular Glowfari event has been canceled tonight due to incoming rain. Visitors who had reservations for tonight can expect an automatic refund, the zoo said.

    3:30 p.m.
    Reporter of hail, graupel in North Bay

    The North Bay is experiencing a rare mixture of weather phenomena on Thursday as cold temperatures bring rain that turns to snow in some areas while thunderstorms are forecast for the evening.

    A mixture of hail and graupel -- slushy snow pellets -- pelted Vallejo around noon and more hail was reported in Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park around 1:30 p.m. The Sonoma County coastal mountains are experiencing a peppering of snow as well.

    2:20 p.m.
    Highway 101 in Menlo Park closed due to PG&E power line repairs

    U.S. Highway 101 is shutting down in both directions in Menlo Park on Thursday afternoon while PG&E crews replace a power line damaged by a fallen tree near the highway, according to the utility.

    The repairs are being done on a line that crosses Highway 101 between Marsh and Willow roads, PG&E officials said. The work is estimated to be complete by 6 p.m.

    San Mateo County has had widespread outages during this week's cold and windy weather. Menlo Park city officials said Thursday that outages have affected nearly 1 in 3 people in the county.

    The city said it received 27 calls for trees down and 46 calls for broken tree limbs or other tree ussues between 1 p.m. Tuesday and 4 p.m. Wednesday.

    1:35 p.m.
    I-80 stopped in both directions due to whiteout conditions: CHP

    California High Patrol says that I-80 eastbound traffic is being held at Colfax and I-80 westbound traffic is being held at the Nevada State line due to whiteout conditions and spin-outs. Authorities say to expect long delays.

    5:30 a.m.
    NWS extends freeze warning into Friday

    The cold storm currently moving through the Bay Area will stick around a little longer.

    The National Weather Service extended its freeze warning for interior areas of another 24 hours into Friday, according to update issued just before 5 a.m. Thursday.

    A winter storm warning now lasts until 11 a.m. Friday, with snow still expected at elevations above 1,500 to 2,000 feet.

    Rain and snow showers will become more widespread Thursday evening into Friday at lower elevations, with a 10 percent chance of thunderstorms Thursday into Friday, according to the weather service.

    5 a.m.
    Snow falling in Los Gatos

    Snow was falling in the Los Gatos area Thursday morning around Highway 17. Thick, fluffy flakes were falling and covering cars in the area.

    ABC7 crews even saw Caltrans snow plows out plowing the highway, working to clear the roads early for commuters.


    11 p.m.
    SF restaurants prepare for incoming cold weather, storms

    As frigid temperatures descend on the Bay Area ahead of a series of storms, many local restaurants are busy preparing.

    Ro Hart is the manager of Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood. She says business at the restaurant is almost always impacted when big storm systems move into the area.

    "It's so cold and windy right now. As you can see, it does affect us a bit. No one wants to sit out," Hart said.

    Hart says given the restaurant's smaller inside, they often depend on outdoor seating to help business. It will be a difficult task with highs only expected in the 40s in the coming days.

    Despite the chilly weather, there were some brave enough to face the cold.

    "I'm alright with it. It's not that cold, I mean we're sitting outside enjoying a nice meal, so it must not be too bad," one customer said.

    The Golden Gate Restaurant Association says this isn't the first time this year that the weather has hit local eateries. They say the heavy rains in early Jan. were even worse.

    "If you think you're not going to make it, if you're looking at tomorrow's weather forecast and you know you want to stay home, please call your restaurant or cancel online so they can fill that seat with someone else," said Amy Cleary.

    7 p.m.
    Thousands left in the dark after Tuesday's wind event

    Across the Peninsula, there have been numerous reported downed trees and so many power outages.

    At the peak, there were 60,000 PG&E customers on the Peninsula without power. PG&E says that's nearly one in three customers.

    Wind gusts reached more than 60 mph in the Bay Area, according to PG&E and that's to blame for numerous downed trees.

    In South San Francisco fierce winds made a mess in the backyard of one home on Lomitas Avenue.

    "A tree came down, knocked down our lines, broke a power pole and obviously affected this homeowner's house," said Aaron Johnson, PG&E Regional Vice President for the Bay Area.

    The 150-foot tree that came crashing down in that neighborhood knocked out power to 134 customers. A cellphone tower and a school were also affected.

    PG&E said Bay Area residents can expect more cleanup and power outages to come.

    "We will see a lot of limbs coming down, trees coming down, and impacts to the power system for sure," said Johnson.

    5 p.m.
    Cold snap prompts San Francisco to open emergency shelters

    San Francisco's Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing announced Wednesday it will be making emergency shelter beds available for those experiencing homelessness through next Monday, but some are asking for a speedier response.

    "This is why the system really needs flexibility. That when there's a cold snap like this, the danger increases exponentially for folks who are living on the streets and we need to have a quicker response," said Lydia Bransten, exec. dirrector of The Gubbio Project. The nonprofit provides a warm place for people to sleep during the day, but she says it's not enough - urging the city to act more quickly in opening emergency shelters.

    "People coming in this morning were freezing," said Bransten. "They were really tired because they didn't get any sleep on the street last night because they were moving around to stay warm."

    Walk-up shelter beds will be available for those coming in off the streets on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Here are the intake times and locations:

    • Next Door (intake 4 p.m - 10 p.m.)
    • Sanctuary (intake 4 p.m - 10 p.m.)
    • MSC South (intake 4 p.m - 10 p.m.)
    • First Unitarian Church (intake begins at 6 p.m.)

    4 p.m.
    2-year-old boy recovering after tree crashes into Santa Cruz Mountains home, family says

    A 2-year-old boy is in stable condition after a tree crashed into his Boulder Creek home Tuesday afternoon, according to the family.

    The quick work of many neighbors helped rescue Milo, who was rushed to the hospital for broken legs, pelvis and cuts to his skin after being hit by branches that came through the roof of the home.

    3 p.m.
    SF Bay Ferry not expecting weather-related service issues during storms

    San Francisco Bay Ferry officials tweeted Wednesday that they don't currently expect any weather-related service disruptions during this week's storms.

    11 a.m.
    Strong winds ravage Bay Area: Here's a look at the aftermath

    ABC7's Lena Howland said on Wednesday morning gusty winds knocked a massive tree over crunching a car in San Francisco taking down a fence and several power lines.

    10:45 a.m.
    Winter Storm Watch expands

    The East Bay Hills and the hills of Marin County are now included in the Winter Storm Watch Thursday into Friday morning. Snow levels could drop below 1,500 feet for a dusting of snow. Above 2,000' we could expect 2"+.

    The Santa Cruz Mountains, Mt Hamilton, and the North Bay Mountains will also see heavy snow with the possibility of up to 12".

    4 a.m.
    North Bay school closures

    Montgomery Elementary in Sonoma County will close on Wednesday due to power outages.


    10 p.m.
    Caltrans clears fallen tree along Bay Bridge

    Westbound traffic coming into San Francisco is back to normal as of 10 p.m. Tuesday after high winds sent a tree falling into traffic right before the Yerba Buena Island Tunnel. No one was hurt but two vehicles were damaged.

    CHP says that the massive tree fell on the hood of a vehicle. A second car crashed into another part of that tree. First firefighters, then Caltrans crews were able to eventually clear the branches and the trunk of the tree.

    9:50 p.m.
    Baby critically injured after tree crashes into Boulder Creek home

    A 1-year-old was critically injured after a redwood tree crashed into a Boulder Creek home in the Santa Cruz Mountains on Tuesday, according to fire officials. Emergency crews rescued six people from the home, including two dogs.

    8:50 p.m.
    South Bay battered by gusty winds

    The South Bay was considered to be one of the hardest hit areas Tuesday afternoon, by PG&E. At one point, nearly 16,700 customers were impacted, coming in second to the Peninsula which had 32,000 customers impacted by 3 p.m.

    Along Sherman Street in San Jose, large branches toppled in the wind, taking out wires in front of a home. The scene mirrored many others across the region. Residents with growing concern over the day's powerful wind gusts.

    San Jose resident Diane Chermak briefly stopped the interview to say, "I'm a little nervous standing out here."

    Chermak has lived in the area for almost 20 years, and said trees don't normally come down during high-wind events. Now, there's added danger of downed wires next door causing more worry.

    "These old Victorians, the wood is so old," she described. "If there's a spark, that's what really worries me."

    Elsewhere, the evening commute through city streets, interrupted by the loss of power. Along NB 87 before 280, a tree stopped traffic in the right lane. At Seventh and Keyes Streets in San Jose, a large branch fell across several wires. San Jose Fire was on-scene.

    In Downtown San Jose, ABC7 News found empty outdoor seating areas, but plenty of foot traffic.

    "We were going for it no matter what," Livermore resident Troy Lewis said. He dressed in layers to attend a concert at the SAP Center. He was strategic about his parking plans.

    "We parked in the parking structure, but we're ready," Lewis said. "Figured it's gonna be bad tonight with the wind, trees may be coming down."

    Tuesday's wind surge, coming roughly seven weeks since historic storms hit the region in January. Residents remaining prepared and exercising patience as the Bay Area takes the brunt of the storm.

    "PG&E will come and the power will go off... but it's gonna be a long time," Chermak said. "Which is understandable. I'm sure they've got their hands full."

    4:52 p.m.
    Some WB lanes of Bay Bridge reopen after downed tree causes backup

    The third and fourth lanes of the Bay Bridge have reopened as of 4:52 p.m. after crews cleared out the downed tree, the CHP said. The fifth lane will remain closed for at least two more hours.

    3:45 p.m.
    Large tree blocking several westbound lanes on Bay Bridge

    A large tree is blocking several westbound lanes on the Bay Bridge near the Treasure Island Tunnel causing a massive traffic jam, according to the California Highway Patrol.

    Drivers should expect delays and avoid the area if possible.

    3:30 p.m.
    Ferry delays or cancellations

    San Francisco Bay Ferry officials say due to the weather the 4:20 p.m. South San Francisco departure to Alameda and Oakland has been canceled. The next departure will be at 5:20 p.m.

    Treasure Island Ferry officials say due to the extreme winds on the Bay, the Treasure Island Ferry has been canceled for the rest of the afternoon.

    3 p.m.
    65K to 70K PG&E customers without power in Bay Area

    PG&E spoke to ABC7's Kristen Sze on our 3 p.m. show "Getting Answers," and PG&E is reporting 65,000 to 70,000 power outages in the Bay Area.

    PG&E says they are on standby with crews and supplies available to help restore lost power.

    2 p.m.

    SF, Oakland see wind gusts up to 63 mph

    Meteorologist Drew Tuma tweeted that San Francisco and Oakland are experiencing high wind gusts of 63 mph as of 2 p.m.

    Toppled Trees

    Even before the rain and cold arrived for our latest winter storm, high winds made their not-so-welcome return to the Bay Area. Up and down the Peninsula and across the region, trees were toppled causing damage to homes, vehicles and power lines.

    ABC7 News anchor Dion Lim was in San Francisco when a massive tree fell on a car between Harrison St. and 25th St. in San Francisco.

    VIDEO: High winds bring down massive tree onto car and power lines in San Francisco

    An image obtained with permission to ABC7 News shows a tree that fell on top of a car on 23rd St. in San Francisco.

    This is an image of a tree falling on top of a car on 23rd St. in San Francisco, Calif. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023.
    This is an image of a tree falling on top of a car on 23rd St. in San Francisco, Calif. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023.
    Reddit: u/a__bad__idea

    Our ABC7 News photographer Jackie Sissel captured an image of a massive tree that fell by Walgreens at Potrero and 24th St. in San Francisco.

    This is an image of a massive tree that fell down at 24th St. and Potrero in San Francisco, Calif. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023.
    This is an image of a massive tree that fell down at 24th St. and Potrero in San Francisco, Calif. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023.

    San Jose Tree Service Inc. Arborist Robert Apolinar told ABC7 News reporter Dustin Dorsey that he thinks we could see a lot more downed trees in the coming days.

    Apolinar says looking out for warning signs of trees that may be prone to failure, like dead branches or limbs that stretch away from the trunk, may be the best way to prepare for what's to come.

    Unlike our January storms, evergreen trees may be most at risk because it's not the rain that's the biggest concern, it's the wind.

    "The rain is more going down, a light push, some extra weight," Apolinar said. "But the wind can spin and come from different angles. So, it certainly puts stress on the roots and if the tree is really weak, it will pull it right over."

    Bay City News contributed to this report.