Trees fall across SF Bay Area in California storm

Investigations

Amid Wednesday night’s bomb cyclone event, powerful winds blasted the San Francisco Bay Area, knocking over trees that blocked roads, fell onto houses and cars, and killed one person.

Emergency management departments across the region said they were responding to an unusual number of fallen trees. In the Sonoma County town of Occidental, a tree fell onto a home, killing an infant, the Press Democrat reported.

“There are numerous downed trees and power outages,” said Roger Gass, a forecaster with the weather service. “We’re trying to keep up with all the reports, and we can’t keep up.”

The weather service said wind gusts over 90 mph were possible Wednesday evening, and this evening, Marin County saw winds top this speed.

A remarkable 101 mph wind gust was recorded at PG&E’s Nicasio Hills weather gauge in Marin County at 5:10 p.m. Gass said that he could not confirm the accuracy of the reading as it was not measured at an official weather service site, but he said, “It’s within the realm of possibility.”

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NBC Bay Area meteorologist Rob Mayeda reported on several other top wind speeds, including a 90 mph gust at Big Rock Ridge in Marin County, a 78 mph wind at Soda Springs Road in the Santa Cruz Mountains, a 74 mph gust on Mount Diablo, and a 59 mph wind at Oakland Airport.

The North Bay has seen some of the most severe weather with this system and trees toppled across the region. “We’ve being getting a lot of calls about downed trees and power lines,”  Karen Hancock, community services officer with Sonoma County Community, told KCBS Radio. “It’s nonstop.”

The Occidental Volunteer Fire Department said it responded to a UPS driver who was trapped between two downed trees, the Press Democrat reported.

I’ve covered every flood/nearly every storm in the Russian River region since 1987, I’ve never heard this many calls for trees down during a winter storm in Sonoma County. Constant dispatches on Redcom. @NorthBayNew

ABC 7 reported that a 50-foot-tall tree fell onto a house in Corte Madera. The West Marin Feed tweeted just before 6 p.m.

That trees were down on Ottingers Hill on Sir Francis Drake going into Point Reyes, trapping cars on the road. KWMR Radio reported that the road was closed in Inverness as of 6:15 p.m.

San Francisco Firefighters respond to downed branches of a tree on Mission Street near Van Ness Ave in San Francisco, California during the storm hitting the Bay Area on January 4, 2023.Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

“Dozens of downed trees causing Muni reroutes,” Jeffrey Tumlin, director of transportation for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, wrote on Twitter at 6:07 p.m. “Crews out everywhere removing debris, directing traffic and arranging bus shuttles.”

The San Francisco Public Library asked people to avoid all sidewalks on Hyde and Larkin streets near the Main Library in the Civic Center neighborhood due to “falling trees” in a tweet posted at 7:33 p.m.

The San Francisco Fire Department respond to downed branches of a tree on Mission Street near Van Ness Ave in San Francisco during the storm hitting the Bay Area on Jan. 4, 2023.
The San Francisco Fire Department respond to downed branches of a tree on Mission Street near Van Ness Ave in San Francisco during the storm hitting the Bay Area on Jan. 4, 2023.

 

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