Storm Brings Rain, Wind, Power Outages, Cancelled Flights

Stick with Patch for your Storm Watch coverage. This story will be updated.

Update, 3:30 p.m.: Scattered showers are in the forecast for the rest of Wednesday and overnight, but the barrage of storms expected to hit the San Francisco Bay Area this week is not finished, according to the National Weather Service.

"Very wet weather" is in the forecast through Sunday, the NWS reported.

In flood-prone areas of the North Bay, the Russian River and San Anselmo Creek were well below flood stage Wednesday afternoon, officials there reported.

There was no major flooding Wednesday in Napa, Santa Rosa or San Anselmo, which has had two "100-year" floods in the last 30 years, according to emergency officials.

More rain and strong winds should hit the San Fransisco Bay region Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

Original Story:

The first wave of a multi-day winter rain and wind storm hit the Bay Area Wednesday morning, forcing the cancellation of more than 73 flights out of the San Francisco International Airport and causing isolated issues across the region.

While the sun may peek out from time to time, the series of storms is expected to pummel much of the region with high winds and heavy rainfall through the weekend. The National Weather Service estimates 3 to 6 inches of rain will accumulate at lower elevations and up to 12 inches will fall in the Santa Cruz Mountains this week.

A high-wind advisory has been extended until 2 p.m. Wednesday in the North and East Bay valleys and mountains, the San Francisco Bay shoreline, the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Monterey Bay region. Gusts of at least 45 mph are expected.

Thunderstorms are possible in the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

Small power outages were reported throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The largest was in Pacifica, where more than 1,000 customers lost power around 9 a.m. By 11 a.m., that number was down to approximately 380, PG&E spokeswoman Monica Tell told Patch.

Here are some safety tips for dealing with downed wires and power outages.

Some low-lying cities, including Petaluma, are offering sandbags to residents in case flooding occurs.

Roadway flooding has not been a major issue yet, though wet roads caused spin-outs throughout the Bay Area that impacted Wednesday's morning commute. A crash on Highway 280 near Redwood City blocked the slow lane of the Highway 92 connector for about an hour around 8:30 a.m. In San Rafael, a three-vehicle crash closed down one lane of Highway 101 from 11 a.m. to noon.

Air travel was also affected. Early Wednesday morning, at least 73 flights were cancelled at SFO and many others delayed. Most of the cancellations—36 arrivals and 37 departures—are short-haul flights heading to and from airports in Orange County, Monterey, Santa Barbara and other West Coast destinations, duty manager Nancie Parker said. Parker said that as of 11 a.m., other arriving and departing flights were averaging about an hour delay. Earlier this morning, arriving flights were delayed by as long as three and a half hours.

The weather has not caused any notable delays into or out of Mineta San Jose and Oakland international airports.

Wind gusts as high as 49 mph from the south may affect coastal areas, creating dangerous water condition, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. There is a high seas warning in effect Wednesday. Coast Guard also recommended people avoid going near low-lying beaches as well as into the water during storm conditions.

—Bay City News contributed to this report.

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