Level 3 storm in Bay Area: From downed trees to flooding threats, here’s an overview of storm damage in the region

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — ABC7 News is already seeing storm damage in the San Francisco Bay Area due to a dangerous atmospheric river moving through the region.

Here’s a look at where there are reports of downed power lines, threats of landslides and downed trees due to the Category 3 storm in the exclusive ABC7 Storm Impact Scale:

LIVE UPDATES: Newsom issues state of emergency for CA to help with storm response

East Bay

Residents of 15 homes in Richmond voluntarily evacuated Tuesday night into Wednesday after the hillside above the Seacliff complex began showing signs of mudslides.

Mayor Tom Butt said in his e-forum bulletin Wednesday that arrangements have been made for residents who do not have places to stay in a hotel in Emeryville. Butt said Seacliff Drive is closed between Seacliff Way and Canal Boulevard, while Seaview Drive and Seacliff Way from Seacliff Drive to Admiralty Way are also closed.

Butt said a geologist was on the scene Wednesday morning, as was a local contractor working to mitigate the damage.

Richmond Police Sergeant Donald Patchin said there was no estimate when people could return to their homes.

“It’s just a waiting game right now with that atmospheric river coming in over the next few days,” Patchin said.

San Ramon police tweeted Wednesday morning that Crow Canyon Road is closed in both directions west of the city limits toward Castro Valley due to the threat of landslides.

There is limited access to residents only, police said late Wednesday morning.

Police said the road was closed by the Alameda County Public Works Agency due to debris and unsafe road conditions.

In El Cerrito, a large tree fell around 5:30 p.m. The owner told us there was no power and PG&E will not be able to reconnect this power until the tree is cleared.

Another tree fell on a home in Richmond. A homeowner was inside, she’s okay, but a tree actually came through the roof and into her son’s bedroom.

Around 6:00 p.m., a tree fell on Richmond Parkway. Traffic was blocked in both directions, but tree crews were able to pull the tree aside and reopen to traffic several hours later.

Oakland city officials joined numerous municipalities around the Bay Area in declaring a local state of emergency Wednesday because of the winter storm still battering the region.

A declaration of emergency allows the city to call any and all personnel to respond to emergencies as they arise overnight. The city’s public works, transportation, fire and police departments are staffed to handle increased service needs, according to the release.

The fire department’s crisis services are working with unhoused residents to inform them of shelter options and coordinate transportation for those who need it. Additionally, the Ira Jinkins Center – at 9175 Edes Ave. near the Coliseum – will provide three free meals on Thursday as well as emergency shelter for all ages and families.

The city’s year-round shelter in St. Vincent de Paul, located at 675 23rd Street in West Oakland, has doubled its bed capacity to serve the homeless through Friday morning, allowing them to house up to 100 people.

For residents who need temporary shelter from wet weather or those experiencing power outages, all 18 public libraries are open and have power. Thursday opening hours are 10am to 5.30pm and the main library is open until 8pm

For the latest information on winter storm updates in Oakland, see oaklandca.gov/topics/winter-storms.

North Bay

Sonoma County officials are concerned about potential flooding as this storm strengthens evacuation warning for all residents living near the Russian River floodplain between Healdsburg and Jenner.

This comes as power has been out for most of Guerneville since Wednesday night.

“We’re going to get hit, I haven’t seen this since 2019,” Guerneville resident Karen Devan said.

Just under four years ago, most of Guerneville was under water in the last Russian River flood in February 2019.

It was so serious that there was no way to get in or out of the city except by boat.

LIVE: Track rain in the San Francisco Bay Area with Live Doppler 7

Karen Devan, her partner and their dog Fergus are taking no chances after surviving the latest flood.

“Safeway is going to flood, drug stores are going to close, grocery stores are going to close and the fire department is going to be awfully busy with rescues, so you’re on your own to figure that out,” she said.

I decided to book a hotel for the next two nights in Santa Rosa after losing power on Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, businesses bracing for history to repeat themselves are sandbagging their doors and closing up shop to get out of hiding.

San Francisco

Yellow caution tape near Chrissy Field’s warming shack in San Francisco didn’t stop some people from crossing to get a better view of the waves crashing on the shore near the Golden Gate Bridge. Some minor flooding carried debris including rocks, sticks and trash into a path normally accessible to pedestrians.

As the rain fell on Thursday afternoon, the marina was almost quiet with little traffic and only a few people out. The eastern stretch of Chrissy Beach, a place usually popular with dogs and their owners even on weekdays, was pretty deserted. Waves washed away much of the beach, with water rising higher than usual.

San Francisco Public Works crews were out all night clearing downed trees, draining flooded intersections and clearing blocked trails after Wednesday’s gusty winds and torrential rain.

A spokesman for the city’s emergency operations center said Thursday that there have been 445 incidents involving fallen trees and branches around San Francisco in the past week, with 286 of them reported in the past 24 hours.

Crews are working around the clock to address storm-related threats to the public, such as sinkholes, downed power lines, flooded areas and blocked passageways.

Emergency officials are reminding residents that sandbags are still available at the Public Works work yard at Kansas and Marin streets until 8:00 p.m. or while supplies last. Each household or store can receive five sandbags

On Wednesday, ABC7 News reporter Leanne Melendez said glass was falling from two broken windows at the Fox Plaza building, forcing the closure of part of Market and Polk.

CONNECTED: More than 76 thousand customers without electricity, PG&E says

South Bay

After 17,000 customers were without power early Wednesday morning, PG&E has restored power to much of the San Jose area. Still, dozens of traffic lights were out in the city center for most of the day, showing disruptions everywhere.

The rain wasn’t much of a problem, but the wind certainly was. In fact, the wind knocked down a large tree branch, snapping power lines along with it. Neighbors described what sounded like an earthquake when the branch fell. Fortunately, no injuries were reported and San Jose Fire and PG&E cleared the area quickly.

CONNECTED: More than 25 thousand customers without electricity, PG&E says

The Santa Cruz County coast was hit hard by the latest atmospheric river storm.

Tweets from the county’s official Twitter account showed “significant damage” to the Capitol and Seacliff piers.

The county announced Thursday morning that the coast was extremely dangerous due to high tides and huge waves.

People should avoid all bodies of water while coastal areas are under a flood warning from the National Weather Service until 4 p.m. Thursday.

Multiple road closures are also in effect throughout Santa Cruz County due to flooding.


After heavy rain caused the Belmont River to overflow last weekend, Belmont officials closed numerous city streets as a precautionary measure before the worst of the storm. Business owners in the area say they are as prepared as possible.

The San Mateo County Department of Public Works has used 275 tons of sand and more than 18,000 sandbags so far Wednesday, but both supplies are currently in short supply. We have seen people bring their garbage bags, hoping that it can help prevent flooding in their properties.

Bay City News Service contributed to this article.

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