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Rainstorm Batters Bay Area, Floods Roads

| November 30, 2012
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A drenching rainstorm battered Northern California on Friday morning, flooding roads and knocking out power for thousands of local residents. More than 7 inches of rain was recorded in some communities.

Below are updates from our live blog covering the storm. More rain is expected over the weekend.

UPDATE 3 p.m.: We’re going to wrap up this live blog as the Bay Area continuse to dry out from the morning’s storms. Our respite from the rain may not last long – more wet weather is expected this weekend.

Here are some useful resources that can help keep you updated on the conditions.

UPDATE 2:42 p.m.: Via ABC 7, spotted over Ocean Beach:

UPDATE: 2:26 p.m.: This graph from the USGS offers a good look at how the storm has impacted local rivers. It shows the level of Arroyo Seco near Greenfield, in Monterey County.

UPDATE: 2 p.m.: Sonoma County Patch posted this video of cars being towed from a flooded Highway 121.

UPDATE 1:53 p.m.: Much of the brunt of this week’s storms has been focused on Monterey County, which is still under a flash flood warning. The Monterey Herald explains how the area has been impacted:

Since Thursday, Monterey County has experienced minor street flooding from street drain backup. Watersheds have become saturated by rain, increasing the likelihood of significant flooding and flash flood events with the next big storm set to his Saturday, said Sherri Collins, emergency services director of Monterey County. Residents should also watch out for mudslides during this weekend’s storm, she said.

At its peak, the storm impacted more than 4,600 customers in Monterey County Thursday, said a PG&E spokeswoman. The power outage heavily impacted Marina and Seaside residents, with 4,500 customers losing power. Outages started around 9 p.m. Thursday. Power was restored by 1:15 a.m.

UPDATE 1:40 p.m.: Rain does bring out the creativity in some Bay Area residents. Check out this recently-updated post with 11 creative photos of the storm.

UPDATE 1:27 p.m.: National Weather Service radar for the Bay Area at 1:19 p.m.

Radar from the National Weather Service

UPDATE 1:23 p.m.: You can see blue sky if you look north from KQED over downtown San Francisco. Perhaps there is hope for the evening commute?

UPDATE 1:09 p.m.: Check out this webcam showing the Russian River at Guerneville. As of 8 a.m. the river was at 16 feet – well above its normal level of 5 feet but below flood stage, which is 32 feet.
UPDATE 1 p.m.: KQED’s Paul Rogers also passed along these handy links for weather observers:

UPDATE 12:51 p.m.: KQED’s Paul Rogers talked with Jan Null at Golden Gate Weather Services in Saratoga about the weather. He noted that as of 5:30 a.m. Venado in the Russian River Basin had recorded more than 7 inches of rain, while Mount Umunhum in the Santa Cruz Mountains had recorded more than 4 inches. A wind gust of 86 miles per hour had been reported at the peak of Mount Diablo.

UPDATE 12:34 p.m.: We just took a brief break from storm news to Tweet about today’s other big story: the Supreme Court will not announce today if it will hear the case over Prop. 8, California’s voter-approved gay marriage ban.

UPDATE 12:13 p.m.: Let’s take a quick look at the storm so far by the numbers:

      • 9.33 inches: Amount of rainfall recorded in Napa County over the past 24 hours, the most in the Bay Area as of 11 a.m.
      • 5-7 inches: Amount of rainfall recorded in Monterey County, where there is a flash flood warning.
      • 3,740: number of PG&E customers without power in the region. PG&E reports that 2,300 of those customers are in the North Bay.
      • 60: Total number of arrivals and departures cancelled this morning at San Francisco International Airport.
      • 47: number of traffic incidents the California Highway Patrol was responding to at noon.

UPDATE 11:42 a.m.: A flash flood warning has been issued for Monterey County. The National Weather Service states that during a warning, “flash flooding is in progress, imminent, or highly likely.”

UPDATE 11:30 a.m.: KCBS reports that 30 arrivals and 30 departures have been cancelled so far at San Francisco International Airport. Both San Francisco and Mineta San Jose international airports are experiencing delays of about two hours, according to the CBS Airport Tracker, which relies on information from the FAA. To find out if your flight is delayed, check out the SFO website or the Mineta website.

UPDATE 11:16 a.m.: This rain is creating traffic issues in the Central Valley as well as the Bay Area. Check out this photo the Modesto Bee posted on Twitter.

UPDATE 11:09 a.m.: A flood watch has been issued for the Russian River in Sonoma County. The National Weather Service states that during a flood watch, “there is a threat of flooding, but the occurrence is neither certain nor imminent.”

UPDATE 10:45 a.m.: We’re seeing more photos of Bay Area flooding on social media:

UPDATE 10:29 a.m.: From the San Jose Mercury-News:

The wet conditions are causing problems on most Bay Area roadways, with the California Highway Patrol reporting dozens of traffic collisions. Flooding was reported “all over” Bay Area roads, according to CHP officer James Evans.

Update 10 a.m.: The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for much of the Bay Area and the coast. Flooding has been reported in several Bay Area communities, and the California Highway Patrol says sections of Highway 101 are under water.

From the National Weather Service:

…FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH MONDAY MORNING…

THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR

* A PORTION OF CALIFORNIA…INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS…
COASTAL NORTH BAY…INCLUDING POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE…
NORTH BAY INTERIOR VALLEYS…NORTH BAY MOUNTAINS…NORTHERN
MONTEREY BAY…SAN FRANCISCO…SAN FRANCISCO PENINSULA COAST…
SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS…SANTA LUCIA MOUNTAINS AND LOS PADRES
NATIONAL FOREST AND SOUTHERN MONTEREY BAY AND BIG SUR COAST.

The agency defines a flash flood watch as indicating “current or developing hydrologic conditions that are favorable for flash flooding in and close to the watch area, but the occurrence is neither certain or imminent.”

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