Bay Area's 1st major winter storm packs punch causing flooding, numerous accidents and backups

ByDustin Dorsey and Cornell Barnard KGO logo
Friday, December 2, 2022
South Bay icy, wet conditions create issues on roadways for drivers
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With puddles on the road or black ice, keeping your steering wheel straight and not slamming on the brakes is the safest way to get through it.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The first major storm of the season definitely packed a punch, leaving parts of the Bay Area flooded causing numerous accidents and backups Thursday morning.

Here's a look at the storm's impact across our region.

North Bay

In the North Bay, a winter storm brought much needed rain and caused plenty of headaches on the roadways and forced one high school to cancel classes.

"The kids were sent home," said Sue Hopkins.

Classes were canceled at Casa Grande High School in Petaluma, after the power failed at exactly 6:09 Thursday morning, leaving the school's cafeteria crew making yogurt breakfast parfaits in the dark, but the power never came back on.

"The freezer is empty, we emptied it and sent the food over to our production kitchen, so it didn't go bad," said cafeteria manager Sue Hopkins.

MORE: Heading to the Sierra this weekend? Here's the best time to go amid winter storm

School officials say Casa Grande will be closed until at least Monday. They say the power failure was not a PG&E issue and electricians were on scene Thursday trying to repair the internal problem.

The storm brought a lot of rain in a few short hours, making roads slick. It caused one car to spinout and crash on Highway 101 and Lakeville Highway, luckily nobody was hurt.

The weather left Gayle Magnisi stranded on the side of Highway 101 in Terra Linda, Gayle had an appointment she had to keep.

"I'm on the way to Marin General to have surgery on my knee but our car broke down," Magnisi said.

TIMELINE: Level 2 storm to bring wet weather, gusty winds to the Bay Area Thursday

Gayle's husband flagged down our ABC7 News van, asking for help. We called the CHP which showed up within minutes to give Gayle a lift.

Moments later, Gayle was back on the road.

"Thank you very much," she said.

San Francisco

A fallen tree knocked down overhead Muni lines and a light pole in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood on Thursday morning, city public works officials said.

The problem was initially reported shortly before 9 a.m. in the area of 11th and Mission streets and was blocking buses on the 14-Mission line, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

No one was injured by the fallen tree, according to public works officials who said their crews responded to clear the roadway.

South Bay

In the South Bay, what is normally a merry and bright scene and Christmas in the Park in Downtown San Jose was more rainy and cold. But that didn't put all residents in a grinchy mood.

San Jose's David Hickey was out enjoying the weather in Willow Glen, many others like him were still out and about despite the steady downpour mid-morning. Hickey says the rain is welcomed this time of year.

"I'm a native Californian and I never get rain," Hickey said. "I'm very warm-blooded. I love it when it's cold, windy and damp. I want many more, but very few people probably agree with me."

But the complaint others had was about road conditions. We saw water puddling up on the roadways and plenty of accidents while we drove around town.

LIVE: Track real-time weather conditions in the Bay Area

But the wet roads aren't going to be the only dangerous condition we will face in the South Bay. As the temperatures dip this evening, black ice becomes a concern.

With puddles on the road or black ice, keeping your steering wheel straight and not slamming on the brakes is the safest way to get through it. But the most important tip on days like today - slow down.

"Speed is the number one factor of fatal and severe crashes in San Jose," San Jose Dept. of Transportation Public Information Officer Colin Heyne said. "And that doesn't just mean speeding over the speed limit. It means exceeding the safe speed given the conditions on the road, whether it's dark, or there are lots of people walking around near the road or wet, rainy weather like we have today."

Bay City News Service contributed to this article.

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