Heavy Rain, Wind Causes Flooding, Delays, Power Outages

Rain and wind flooded roadways, delayed BART service and caused power outages throughout the Bay Area this morning.

Between 1 and 3 inches of rain fell in the region this morning. The heaviest rain is expected to taper off by this afternoon, but scattered showers will continue until the evening hours, according to the National Weather Service.

The most rainfall was recorded in the coastal mountains of Sonoma County, where there has been 2.9 inches of rain this morning.

In San Francisco, there has been 1.2 inches of rain, an inch in Oakland, a half-inch in San Jose, 1.5 inches in Santa Rosa, 1.5 inches in San Rafael and 2.3 inches in Santa Cruz, a weather service forecaster said.

The rainfall has caused problems for commutes throughout the area. The California Highway Patrol responded to numerous traffic collisions this morning along with flooded roadways and small mudslides.

Some of the most significant flooding was in the East Bay, including as much as a foot of water on the Canal Boulevard on-ramp to Interstate Highway 580 in Richmond.

Lanes of several other highways throughout the region were flooded, forcing motorists to swerve to avoid the water.

Most of the many traffic collisions reported were minor, although all lanes of eastbound state Highway 24 were shut down for about half an hour this morning because of a crash involving five or six vehicles at Camino Pablo in Orinda, according to the CHP.

Two people were killed and 18 others were injured in San Jose when a Greyhound bus flipped over a center divider on northbound Highway 101 near state Highway 85, CHP officials said.

It wasn’t immediately clear if either of those crashes were weather-related.

BART trains were also delayed by as much as 20 minutes because of wind and rain requiring trains to run at slower speeds, in addition to medical emergencies involving passengers in crowded trains running through the Transbay Tube, BART officials said.

The weather has brought down power lines in the region and caused power outages. As of about 10:30 a.m., 4,755 people had lost power in the Bay Area, including 1,870 in the East Bay, 1,330 on the Peninsula and 1,090 in the North Bay.

The cause of all the outages has not been determined, but most are believed to be weather-related, PG&E spokeswoman Mayra Tostado said.

One confirmed weather-related outage was 950 customers in the El Sobrante area who lost power when a tree fell on a power line on Appian Way between Rincon and La Paloma roads, Tostado said.

Another fallen tree brought down power lines in the 8400 block of Skyline Boulevard in the Oakland hills this morning, according to Oakland police.

Commuters can expect drier weather on Wednesday and Thursday, but another storm is expected to arrive in the area on Friday, according to the weather service.

Scott Morris, Bay City News

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