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Bay Area storm watch: North Bay finally sees some reprieve as system very slowly shifts south

This story will be updated as conditions change through Monday.

The good news is this storm officially marks the end of fire season — the bad news is the heavy downpour is wreaking havoc in a region where drought-hardened ground is struggling to absorb the sudden moisture.

The storm, which the National Weather Service predicted could bring up to 9 inches of rain, has outperformed all expectations — more than 11 inches fell as of early Sunday evening in parts of the Peninsula.

The weather service provided a 4 p.m. update that said rain would shift south, but that movement has been very slow, leaving the large system to linger over and continue pouring onto already oversaturated portions of the region, according to NWS.

The storm’s impact has been significant and damaging, causing flooding creeks, homes and streets, as well as countless downed power lines and trees that have disrupted transit, caused road closures, forced evacuations, crushed vehicles and contributed to extensive power outages.

People can view current hazards and road closures in their area by checking

Power is still out to just shy of 100,000 PG&E customers across the region as of 8:13 p.m. People can check in on the PG&E power outage map for the most current information.

PG&E As of 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, more than 140,000 PG&E customers are without power across the Bay Area, with San Mateo County, Calif. accounting for nearly 32 percent, as storm conditions intensify. (Courtesy of PG&E)

All eyes are on burn scar areas where potential debris flows can be particularly dangerous.  A wind advisory is in effect for the entire region. 

The National Weather Service says the Bay Area may see thunderstorms before the bulk of rain clears out Monday evening, but there is a chance more rainfall will come Tuesday.  

East Bay

Just after 8 p.m. Sunday, PG&E reports 5,472 customers without power in Contra Costa County, including nearly 2,000 in Orinda. Another 3,351 customers are impacted in Alameda County, Oakland accounting for the vast majority.

Several roads were closed due to excessive water in Pacheco and Bay Point, including: Pacheco Boulevard at South Buchanan Circle; Center Avenue Bridge at Grayson Creek; 2nd Street Bridge at Grayson Creek; Marsh Drive; Arthur Road at Pacheco Boulevard, Mary Ann Lane and Clearland Circle; Willow Pass Road near Clearland Drive.

Berkeley police reported Sunday evening that flooding caused closure of the 400 block of Arlington Avenue.

SFBay received reports of substantial flaring “on and off all day” Sunday at the Chevron refinery in Richmond. Refinery representatives responded to our inquiry with an email statement saying the flaring is due to “a process unit upset” that crews are working to minimize and stop. Officials said they issued a Community Warning System Level 1 to nearby residents. It is unclear at this time if the “upset” is related to or exacerbated by the weather.

Matt Renner Amid a massive Bay Area storm, the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, Calif. flares on and off Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (Courtesy of Matt Renner)

The heavy storm conditions caused the Alameda County Fair and Oakland Zoo to close Sunday. People who purchased Sunday tickets to either attraction can request refunds or make new reservations. 

According to fair officials, the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton will reopen Monday.

The Danville FallFest also fell victim to the wild weather. Downtown streets that were closed to traffic for the festival were reopened to vehicles. 

The East Bay hills saw morning wind gusts of 58 mph. Concord is expecting a total of 3 inches by the storm’s end. 

San Francisco

San Francisco had already seen about 2 inches of rain by Sunday mid-morning. Shortly after 8 p.m. Sunday, power outages were impacting 5,974 San Francisco PG&E customers.

The weather service extended the Urban and Small Stream Flood Advisory in San Francisco until 7:15 p.m. Sunday.

Downed trees and power lines blocked traffic lanes in all directions at Lincoln Way and 19th Avenue. Fire crews responded to the scene shortly after noon.

A 100-foot tree collapsed in the Forest Hills neighborhood on 9th Avenue, prompting evacuation of three homes around 11:10 a.m. Sunday morning, according to fire officials. The evacuation order was lifted shortly before 4 p.m.

A downed tree blocked all lanes of traffic on Mission Street between Cesar Chavez and Precita streets earlier Sunday afternoon.

Joe Ku A downed tree blocks Mission Street between Precita and Cesar Chavez streets in San Francisco, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (Courtesy of Joe Kukura)

Yet another tree fell onto the Lower Great Highway between Moraga and Lawton streets around 10:30 a.m.

A home at 201 Montalvo Avenue narrowly escaped damage when a large tree fell along the sidewalk at the intersection of Magellan Avenue Sunday afternoon.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said just after 2 p.m. that the Powell-Hyde cable car line is delayed at Powell and Hyde streets due to a downed tree. At 4:30 p.m., the transit agency announced that all cable car lines were suspended due to a “strand alarm issue.”

According to agency alert, Muni subway service is bypassing the Van Ness station due to flooding, though trains are still running to all other stations as of about 5:15 p.m. Muni’s 22 Fillmore bus is delayed at Fillmore and Washington due to downed tree, as reported around 4:30 p.m.

A fallen tree blocked BART tracks between Daly City and Balboa stations around 8:30 a.m. Sunday. Muni provided bus service between the two stations until service was restored just under an hour later. 

BART Crews work to clear a large tree branch from the BART tracks between Daly City and Balboa Park stations on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (Courtesy of BART)

Transit riders can check the SFMTA alert page for updates on all impacted routes.


Power outages are still impacting 31,388 customers in San Mateo County shortly after 8 p.m. Sunday — more nearly 8,500 in the city of San Mateo.

Parts of San Mateo County left vulnerable to debris flows by the CZU Lightning Complex burn area now under an evacuation order. In a joint agency release, county officials said the temporary evacuation point will be moved from Half Moon Bay High School at 1 Lewis Foster Drive in Foster City to the Ted Adcock Center at 535 Kelly Avenue in Half Moon Bay, effective at 5 p.m.

North Bay

Sonoma County has 16,233 PG&E customers without power as of 8:13 p.m., with more than 8,400 in Sebastopol alone. Marin County is also experiencing a substantial power outage impacting 11,445 customers, majority of which are in San Rafael. Another 563 and 815 outages are being reported in Solano and Napa counties. respectively.

Santa Rosa Fire Department Several creeks and streets flood in Santa Rosa, Calif. as an atmospheric storm sweeps pounds the Bay Area on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (Courtesy of Santa Rosa Fire Department)

A flood advisory has been extended for parts of Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties until 9 p.m. Sunday. Additionally, the weather service announced that an Urban and Small Stream Flood Advisory has been extended until 3 p.m. in the cities of Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Forestville and Graton the southern portion of Cloverdale.

Sausalito declared a state of emergency Sunday afternoon due to extensive storm damage, including downed trees and power lines. Residents at the Marinship Park encampment were displaced in the storm. More than 1,000 of the city’s residents were without power shortly after 6 p.m. — the Sausalito Library at 420 Litho Street is open until 9 p.m. to residents who have lost power.

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect until 11 p.m. Sunday for North Bay areas near 2020 burn scars. Rohnert Park is under a Flash Flood Watch until 11 p.m., according to NWS.

Major flooding occurred in several North Bay areas throughout Sunday.

Flood sirens were activated in Fairfax, San Anselmo and Ross around 4 p.m. as the Corte Madera Creek crested above the bank, the sheriff’s office said on social media. People are advised to move property from low-lying areas in nearby homes and businesses. Marin County emergency information can be accessed here.

The Shoreline Highway is closed in Olema from Sir Francis Drake/Highway 1 to Point Reyes due to flooding, according to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office.

The Santa Rosa Fire Department reported several flooded creeks and streets citywide. Residents of 95 homes and an apartment building in the Bennett Valley area were evacuated due to flooding around Tachevah Drive and Neotomas Avenue, Brookhaven Drive, Tuscan Drive, and Washoe Court. Fire officials said shortly before 11 a.m. that crews were using heavy machinery to clear debris and improve drainage in the area. An update provided by fire officials around 4:30 p.m. said waters had significantly receded, and evacuation orders were finally lifted just before 7 p.m.

In Fairfield, flooding caused closure of Airbase Parkway between Dover Drive and Heath Avenue, 3000 block of Holiday Lane and the Travis Boulevard off-ramp from Interstate 80.

The weather service issued a Flood Warning for the Napa River near St. Helena until 8 p.m.

Mill Valley police said shortly before 4 p.m. that Miller Avenue is flooded and littered with fallen debris, causing closure at three spots: Montford Avenue, at Camino Alto, and between Camino Alto and Almonte Boulevard. Drivers are asked to use E. Blithedale. The city issued a shelter-in-place order for the Sycamore Triangle area due to pervasive flooding in low-lying areas. Residents prone to flooding can move their vehicles to the Mill Valley Community Center.

Shortly after 4 p.m., Santa Rosa fire officials said two minor mudflows occurred in the hill area above the 5500 block of Yerba Buena Road. Engineers were called to the scene but officials say there are no current threats to homes below.

Officials remind people not to turn around when they encounter flooded areas and not attempt to drive through.

The Santa Rosa Fire Department warned early that creeks, which were nearly dry beds a week ago, were rising at a rapid pace. Fire officials urged the public to avoid creek edges.

Downed live power lines caused road closures in San Rafael. Police reported around 11:30 a.m. that roadways are closed at the 200 block of Prospect Drive, and Woodland Avenue between Octavia and B streets. PG&E, fire crews and police are responding.

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office reported a tree blocking Los Cerros Drive in Greenbrae just after 1 p.m. and advised residents to avoid the area. Several downtown San Rafael streets were under 2 feet of water by 2 p.m. Sunday, according to a police alert.

Police said:

“The flooding is anticipated to worsen due to another high tide, in addition to the rainfall levels from the atmospheric river.”

The storm had dumped nearly a foot of rain on Mt. Tamalpais before 1 p.m. Sunday.  

South Bay

PG&E reported just after 8 p.m. Sunday that power outages were affecting 24,134 customers in Santa Clara County — of those, more a little more than 17,000 customers in San Jose.

Early morning wind gusts were recorded up to 57 mph at the Los Gatos weather station. 

Just before 4 p.m., Santa Clara County fire crews responded to a leaning power line at the San Jose/Saratoga border near Prospect Avenue and Lawrence Expressway.

Santa Clara County Fire Department A power line leans “precariously” over the road near Lawrence Expressway and Prospect Avenue in San Jose, Calif. at the border of Saratoga on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (Courtesy of Santa Clara County Fire Department)
Tri Valley
Alameda County Fire Department One of two trees downed at the Alameda County Fire Department Station 17 in Dublin, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (Courtesy of Alameda County Fire Department)

Trees toppled at Alameda County Fire Department’s Station 17 in Dublin, according to a social post shortly after 4 p.m. Fire officials did not report any injuries or structure damage.

Tri Valley power outages are summarized above as part of Alameda County in the East Bay section. However, PG&E is reporting moderate outages for 54 customers in Livermore, 36 in Pleasanton and one in Dublin.

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