Storms, fires and violent clashes: A review of the top news stories in 2017

EMBED </>More Videos

2017 has been an eventful year in the Bay Area. Here's a look at some of the top stories that happened where you live.

2017 has been an eventful year in the Bay Area.

It began with a series of powerful storms hitting Northern California. There were violent clashes at far-right rallies in Berkeley and catastrophic fires ravaged Wine Country.

In between, the Golden State Warriors won another championship.

Here is a list of the most impactful stories of the year.

Record rainfall - January 10, 2017

The year began with a bang, a thunderous bang. Three powerful storms hit the Bay Area during the first 10 days of the year.

Rain totals for just those 10 days were astonishing. San Francisco got 5.5 inches, Santa Rosa 8.9 inches, Napa County 13.6 inches and Contra Costa County 12.1 inches. It was so much rain that by January 10, a drought monitor indicated the entire Bay Area was no longer in a drought.

The storms doubled the snowpack in the Sierra, but also caused widespread flooding, especially along the San Lorenzo River in the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Russian River in Guerneville.

But the rain and the flooding didn't stop then.

On February 7, rushing water created a crater on the Oroville Dam's main spillway, creating fear that it could fail. The emergency spillway was also damaged. Nearly 180,0000 were under mandatory evacuation orders until repairs could be made and the dam was stabilized.

A few weeks later, San Jose experienced the worst flooding the city had seen in a century. Water overflowed from Anderson Dam, causing Coyote Creek to overrun its banks in the Rock Spring neighborhood. Water covered cars and flooded houses. Nearly 40,000 residents were evacuated. Damage was estimated at $100,000 million.

Women's March - January 21, 2017
The day after President Donald Trump's inauguration was marked with worldwide protests. It is estimated that 2.6 million people hit the streets in all seven continents. Nearly 500,000 took part in the Women's March in Washington, D.C.

Women's marches were held in several Bay Area cities. The largest was in Oakland with a crowd as high as 100,000 people. San Jose saw about 25,000 marchers and about 10,000 turned out in Walnut Creek. The last march of the day took place on a rainy San Francisco evening. An estimated 50,000 people wearing pink hats and rain ponchos marched from Civic Center Plaza to the Ferry Building. A combined total of 185,000 people marched in the Bay Area.

Free Speech Protests - February 1, 2017
Violence erupted at UC Berkeley as demonstrators protested the planned appearance of controversial right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos, a senior Brietbart editor at the time. Yiannopoulos is a critic of social justice, political correctness and a vocal supporter of President Trump. He was invited to campus by the Berkeley College Republicans. A few hours before the planned event, protesters smashed windows at Sproul Plaza, lit fires and launched fireworks at police officers. Six people were injured. The event was canceled, but it set the stage for future protests and a debate about the tolerance for free speech in Berkeley.

On March 4, an alt-right rally in Downtown Berkeley drew counterprotesters and resulted in more violent clashes. Far-right activist Kyle Chapman was charged with wielding a leaded stick and hitting anti-fascist demonstrators. More rallies were planned and canceled in the following months, including one by Patriot Prayer in San Francisco.

On September 15, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro was allowed to speak at UC Berkeley under extreme security on campus, but a "Free Speech Week" planned for later in the month featuring conservative commentators was canceled. Chancellor Carol Christ announced a task force to look at ways of handling free speech issues at Cal.

Las Vegas Raiders - March 27, 2017
It was a sad day for Oakland Raiders fans, but one they had seen coming for a long time. NFL owners voted 31-1 to allow the team to move to Las Vegas. On November 13, owner Mark Davis broke ground on a planned 65,000 seat stadium near the Las Vegas Strip. The stadium will cost a projected $1.9 billion. The Raiders are chipping in $50 million in cash, $250 million from the sales of personal seat licenses and $250 million from an NFL loan.

Warriors Championship - June 12, 2017
The Golden State Warriors won their second NBA championship in three years after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in The Finals. The Warriors cruised through the postseason with a 16-1 record, an NBA playoff record. Kevin Durant, during his first season with Golden State, was named Finals MVP. Thousands of people lined the streets of Oakland for a parade and public celebration a few days later.

UPS Shooting - June 14, 2017
A UPS driver opened fire on his co-workers during a regular morning meeting at the UPS distribution facility in San Francisco. Police say Jimmy Lam, 38, was upset about overtime work and appeared to target fellow drivers. Three UPS employees were killed and five others were injured.

Las Vegas Shooting - October 1, 2017

A gunman fired more than 1,100 rounds into a crowd of Las Vegas concertgoers in what became the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. 58 people were killed and 546 were injured as the Route 91 Harvest Festival wrapped up. Police say Stephen Paddock, 64, broke the window of his corner suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and began shooting.

The tragedy focused attention on bump fire stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to become fully automatic. Investigators have yet to find a motive for the massacre. At least four of the victims had Bay Area ties.

Wine Country Fires - October 9, 2017
Winds gusting at 70 miles per hour fueled what became the deadliest wildfires in California history. The fires began on October 8 and 9. They spread rapidly, causing damage in Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Lake, Mendocino and Butte counties -- 8,900 homes and buildings were destroyed, mostly in the Coffey Park and Fountaingrove areas of Santa Rosa and along Napa's Silverado Trail. The most destructive blaze was the Tubbs Fire, which alone was responsible for 22 deaths and the destruction of 5,600 structures. It took 23 days until the wildfires were contained. Most of the victims were elderly. Fire investigators say the likely cause was lightning or downed power lines. More than 10,000 firefighters from around the world helped fight the fires. Damage was estimated at about $9.4 billion.

Tehama Shootings - November 13, 2017
A series of random shootings kept residents on edge near the town of Red Bluff in Tehama County. Over a two day span, Kevin Janson Neal, 44, opened fire in seven locations around Rancho Tehama Reserve, including an elementary school. He killed five people, among them two of his neighbors and his wife -- 18 people were injured. Neal killed himself during a police chase. The gunman used a semi-automatic ghost rifle, a home-built firearm that is legal to build but did not have a serial number.

Kate Steinle Verdict - November 30, 2017
The debate over sanctuary cities ignited again after an undocumented immigrant was acquitted of the shooting death of Kate Steinle on San Francisco's Pier 14. A jury found Jose Ines Garcia Zarate not guilty of the crime, but convicted him of felony possession of a firearm. President Trump called the verdict "disgraceful," and Attorney General Jeff Sessions blamed San Francisco's sanctuary city status. The shooting happened in July of 2015 after San Francisco authorities freed Garcia Zarate following a prison sentence, instead of turning him over to immigration authorities for deportation. Even though the hashtag "Boycott San Francisco" began trending on social media, Mayor Ed Lee released a statement affirming the city's sanctuary status.

Mayor Ed Lee Dies - December 12, 2017
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee died of a heart attack after collapsing at a supermarket near his home. Lee, who enjoyed cracking jokes, was the first Chinese-American mayor in San Francisco. He was appointed to the position in 2011, but later won two elections for mayor. Lee led the city during a tech and construction boom, but was also criticized for the city's affordable housing problem. His body was laid in state in the City Hall Rotunda, where a memorial celebration was held a few days later.

Watch the video above for our review of 2017's top Bay Area news stories.
Related Topics:
societyprotestrallyGolden State Warriorsfatal shootingNorth Bay Firesed leeabc7 originalsfloodingstormSan FranciscoSan JoseOaklandNapaSonoma
(Copyright ©2018 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)