Winter storm brings another round of rain, hail, snow to Bay Area

ByABC7 News staff KGO logo
Tuesday, February 28, 2023
Wet, cold weather perpetuating the struggle for SJ's unhoused
Homeless advocates in San Jose are highlighting how fierce wind, frozen temperatures are perpetuating the struggle for the unhoused population.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Bay Area was hit with another round of rain, hail and snow on Monday as a chilly winter storm moved through the region in the final days of February.

ABC7 crews are spread out across the Bay Area to show us what conditions are like where you live.

STORM TIMELINE: Cold front Monday brings rain, winds and snow with more expected Tuesday

East Bay

The snow fell fast and furiously over Mt. Diablo on Monday. Families came up to the snowy landscape to make the most of it.

The snow fell fast and furiously over Mt. Diablo on Monday. Families came up to the snowy landscape to make the most of it.

"The kids made snow angels and a little snowman and threw snowballs at each other. It was a fun day and a cool experience for the kids to have," said Jessica Giacomelli.

The conditions were treacherous up on the mountain with snow coming down. Authorities said a van had slid off the road.

Farther down the mountain, a previous landslide along the North Gate Road into the park got worse with Monday's rain, as more of the roadway surface collapsed.

The Oakland Zoo closed down again for Monday until Tuesday as the continuous bad weather wreaks havoc on roads, morale and finances.

North Bay

In the North Bay, commuters faced wet and rainy conditions and, in some places, even hail.

In the North Bay, commuters faced wet and rainy conditions and, in some places, even hail. Santa Rosa fire said the roads in Santa Rosa's Oakmont neighborhood got covered in hail.

"Some pretty substantial amounts of hail," Santa Rosa District Fire Marshall Paul Lowenthal said. "It presents something that's not just fun to look at, but that does present some safety concerns for us."

Those concerns include downed trees and power lines. Firefighters responded just before 2 p.m. to a tree branch that fell onto a power line outside an auto shop in Santa Rosa, causing the branch to become electrified.

"We've seen power lines, cable lines, different lines come down because of the winds, because of the gusty conditions, because of the rain," Lowenthal said. "It's just been kind of a wild season so far."

VIDEO: SKY7 flies over Bay Area snow-capped mountains, peaks

Here's an aerial tour of Mt. Hamilton, Mt. Diablo, other San Francisco Bay Area snow-capped peaks, hills after winter storm,

According to PG&E, nearly 10,000 customers in the North Bay were without power on Monday afternoon. The largest pocket of people without electricity was in the Larkspur/Kentfield area of Marin County.

Rafael Candelas was walking his dog, Lukas, in Santa Rosa when it started to pour.

"I think this weather is really bipolar," Candelas exclaimed. "First, it's snowing, then it's raining, then it's super hot. Come on, make up your mind!"

In Mill Valley, a number of redwood trees came down on Monday as it was raining out. Those we spoke with described what it sounded like.

"Like nothing I've ever heard, like a piece of wood snapping times a thousand. It was very loud," said Ben Speer who lives near the trees that fell.

In Mill Valley on Monday, a number of redwood trees came down, falling on land in walking distance to Cascade Falls.

Speer is a carpenter, he was home due to the rainy conditions when the trees came down.

One tree higher in elevation fell first, crashing into others which then came down on wires.

"We're sitting on the couch drinking coffee, heard a loud loud bang, power went out, I saw some power lines moving back and forth and we came out and saw this," said Speer.

The trees fell on land in walking distance to Cascade Falls. One of the top-rated waterfalls in the entire Bay Area. They came down on a roadway that hikers use to travel from Tenderfoot Trail to those Cascade Falls. In this case, no one was hit and no structures were damaged.

Ben says he spent most of the afternoon cleaning the roadway.

"I don't want to brag, but the fire department, the police department, and DPW all came out and nobody did anything, so myself and a guy I just met who's probably in his 70s, old timer from Bolinas got out here, got my battery-powered saw, cut up all these logs, cleared the road, swept everything, pulled these lines back," said Speer.

There's no timetable on the cleanup here, but Mill Valley police say the section of Cascade Drive where the trees fell is now closed to the public.


Storm-related impacts continued to affect Bay Area traffic and BART on Monday afternoon, with some roads flooded by heavy rains or closed due to snow.

El Camino Real in Palo Alto is closed in both directions due to flooding at the University Avenue underpass, police said about 12:30 p.m. Previously one lane was open in each direction.

Also in Palo Alto, Page Mill road is closed again due to snow in the road, between Moody Road and Skyline Boulevard.

VIDEO: A look at the best snow videos from rare Bay Area snowfall

From Wine Country to the Santa Cruz Mountains, snow fell across parts of the Bay Area on Friday. Here's a look at some of the incredible video.

South Bay

Snow covered the Saratoga Hills on Monday, making it one of the easiest trips to snow that people in the area have ever seen.

A taste of Tahoe in the South Bay. No, it wasn't snowfall in the Santa Cruz Mountains or at Mt. Hamilton, we saw snow falling and covering the Saratoga Hills, just about 15 minutes from town. It made for one of the easiest trips to snow that people in the area have ever seen.

"I've been living here my whole life, I'm 22 years old and I have not seen this much snow, only up on Mt. Hamilton at the observatory," San Jose resident Jose Arevalos said. "It looks so beautiful, it's like Tahoe. A winter wonderland in San Jose."

Words I don't think any San Jose resident has said before. As temperatures dropped into the mid to lower 30s, the falling precipitation along Big Basin Way quickly turned from rain to snow.

We watched many cars without snow capabilities like four-wheel drive quickly learn driving here was a mistake. As beautiful as it was, many had to make the call to turn back for safety.

Caltrans told us that they understand that many people have never seen snow before, and having it this close makes it seem like it's worth the trip. But the reality is: if your car is not equipped for serious weather, you should stay away.

Homeless advocates in San Jose are highlighting how fierce wind, frozen temperatures and other inclement weather conditions are perpetuating the struggle for the unhoused population.

"We have blankets here, we have hygiene supplies, we have rain suits," Shaunn Cartwright with the South Bay's Unhoused Response Group said, as she pointed at boxes loaded into her van. On Monday, these items and more made their way into the hands of the unhoused population living along Coyote Creek in San Jose.

VIDEO: Snow fun or no fun? Bay Area winter weather brings mixed reactions

From skiing on Mount Diablo to traffic backups and soggy boots, people around the Bay Area had different feelings about the winter storms hitting the region.

Cartwright spent much of Monday afternoon delivering hand warmers, tents, tarps, hot meals and more to the many without proper shelter.

"They're just at a point where, you just can't take much more," she described. "It's just been like two or three months of just solid cold, wet... or both."

Cartwright introduced us to a man named Shane, an unhoused resident who stopped by to collect dinner and supplies as he prepared to endure another cold night.

"I'm one of the few people under the bridge right there," Shane pointed out. "So, I've got comfy shelter oppose to most people who are under the direct rain and intense leaking."

Cartwright said there are just not enough overnight warming locations, and the ones that are available don't allow the residents to bright all their belongings, or their pets.

As wind, rain, snow and freezing temperatures battered the Bay Area over the last few months, Cartwright warns conditions have also brought repeated loss of supplies, clothing and shelter for the many living on our streets.

"The wind did this, and then the flood did this, and then another flood did that," she described. "Just, people are really, really suffering."

Power Outages

Here are the number of customers impacted as of 5 p.m. on Monday, according to PG&E:

  • San Francisco: 5
  • Peninsula: 195
  • North Bay: 1,438
  • East Bay: 489
  • South Bay: 3,268
  • Total: 5,395
  • ABC7 News reporters Leslie Brinkley, Amanda del Castillo, Dustin Dorsey, Liz Kreutz and J.R. Stone contributed to this report.

    Bay City News contributed to this report.

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