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Storm effects linger after major system blows through Bay Area

Downed power lines, toppled trees and flooding have plagued the Bay Area since a slow-moving but powerful storm moved into the region Monday, with many North Bay communities suffering the brunt of the impacts.

While the worst of the wind and rain moved out of the region Wednesday, lingering showers and swollen rivers continue to keep emergency response crews busy.

National Weather Service meteorologist Carolina Walbrun said:

“The atmospheric river … has moved out of the area. We’re not seeing as much in terms of rain over the North Bay at the moment.”

The entire Bay Area should dry out over the next couple of days as a lingering cold front moves though, bringing gusty winds and some rain but nowhere near as much as the region experienced during the last 48 hours, according to Walbrun.

That’s welcome news to places like Guerneville, which was drenched by more than 20 inches of rain over the past two days and has been cut off by the rising waters of the Russian River since about 4:45 a.m. Wednesday. The Sonoma County town is now only accessible by air or boat as the river continues to rise and is expected to crest at 46 feet Wednesday evening.

The county’s Board of Supervisors declared a local emergency and officials estimate that 3,600 residents were included in evacuation notices issued Tuesday evening.

PG&E reported that as of midday Wednesday, more than 6,000 PG&E customers were still without electricity, most of them in Sonoma County due to flooding and mudslides, utility spokeswoman Deanna Contreras said. Flooding and downed trees have closed many roadways across the Bay Area, as well.

Both directions of state Highway 37 in unincorporated Marin County between U.S. Highway 101 and Atherton Avenue and state Highway 12 near Sebastopol in Sonoma County are closed due to flooding, according to the California Highway Patrol.

In Napa, the Silverado Trail south of Saint Helena is also closed by a fallen tree and a mudslide and fallen trees closed Moscow Road about a mile west of the Bohemian Highway near the unincorporated community of Monte Rio, which has also experienced flooding, according to Sonoma County sheriff’s officials.

Farther south, a downed tree closed both directions of Walnut Creek’s busy Ygnacio Valley Road early Wednesday morning.

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