Wet and Windy Storm Blasts Bay Area

Rain on window
Photo credit Pomnatt/Dreamstime
By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS Radio) -- Cleanup was underway around the Bay Area on Thursday after a potent blast of wind and rain.

The National Weather Service reported 24-hour rainfall totals ranging from under a half-inch in Livermore to more than 4 inches in the hills above Saratoga. Most urban locations received between 1 and 2 inches of rain, although Novato was soaked with 2.8 inches.

Wind speeds reached 61 mph at San Francisco International Airport in a gust recorded at 5:18 pm Wednesday. Impressive gusts were recorded at higher elevations, including 86 mph atop Mt. St. Helena and 98 mph atop Big Rock Ridge, above San Rafael's Lucas Valley.

The storm was blamed for two deaths. In Oakland, a man described as a transient was crushed by a fallen tree limb. The incident occurred on Ardley Avenue near Interstate 580. California Highway Patrol spokesman Herman Baza called it a "tragic situation", saying, "this person was trying to seek shelter and stay dry" when the tree came down.

In Napa County, a motorist died in a crash on Highway 121 near Schellville. The CHP blamed the incident on a combination of excessive speed and wet pavement.

At the peak of the storm, PG&E reported more than 34,000 Bay Area customers were without power.

The dousing improved seasonal rainfall totals, although most Bay Area locations continued to lag behind normal rainfall totals. San Jose and San Francisco were at 87% of normal rainfall for the season that began on October 1. Oakland was at 82%, Livermore at 75%, and Santa Rosa at 94% of normal.