Storm wreaks havoc on Bay Area roads and air­ports

Flood­ing, power out­ages and road clo­sures re­ported across the Bay Area

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - FRONT PAGE - By Fiona Kel­li­her fkel­li­[email protected]­yare­anews­group.com

A wash of heavy rain con­tin­ued to move across the Bay Area Wed­nes­day morn­ing, snarling roads with clo­sures and cre­at­ing lo­gis­ti­cal headaches for trav­el­ers mak­ing their way out of town for Thanks­giv­ing. And fore­cast­ers warn that the wet weather — the first sig­nif­i­cant storm to hit the re­gion in months — isn’t over yet.

Show­ers rolled from the North Bay start­ing around mid­day Tues­day, soak­ing vir­tu­ally all of the Bay Area thanks to a low­pres­sure cold front from Ore­gon. While the bulk of the sys­tem hit overnight — caus­ing more than an inch of rain­fall in places like Ve­nado and Mor­aga — the weather was ex­pected to con­tinue to im­pact the re­gion into Wed­nes­day.

“In terms of all the travel plans, the wettest pe­riod will be this morn­ing for rain­fall and ac­cu­mu­la­tion,” said Ryan Wal­brun, me­te­o­rol­o­gist with the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice.”

“As for trav­el­ing Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, he added, “it’s not go­ing to be good ei­ther way.”

Al­ready, Cal­i­for­nia High­way Pa­trol has closed In­ter­state 80 be­tween Truc­kee and Alta on Tues­day fol­low­ing mul­ti­ple weather-re­lated col­li­sions, as well as In­ter­state 5 be­tween Yreka and Red­ding due to “the ex­tremely large num­ber of ve­hi­cles spun out along the in­ter­state,” Cal­trans said early Wed­nes­day. CHP also told those plan­ning to drive to South­ern Cal­i­for­nia that a por­tion of In­ter­state 5 could be closed be­cause of a snow-rain mix pro­jected to hit the area.

Smaller clo­sures snarled city traf­fic in the Bay Area, too. Part of the main thor­ough­fare El Camino Real in Burlingame was shut down overnight Tues­day thanks to flood­ing, along with another ma­jor in­ter­sec­tion in San Ma­teo.

Pre­dictably, the rain also caused prob­lems for those fly­ing out of town. By 9 a.m. Wed­nes­day, six flights had been can­celled at San Fran­cisco In­ter­na­tional Air­port and 96 more had been de­layed. Three flights were also can­celled by 9 a.m. at Mineta San Jose In­ter­na­tional Air­port. And on Tues­day night, trav­el­ers at Oak­land In­ter­na­tional Air­port were plunged into dark­ness for about an hour, in one of sev­eral power out­ages to hit the re­gion as the storm rolled through.

It’s not just the Bay Area fac­ing weather-re­lated woes. In south­ern Ore­gon, the low pres­sure sys­tem caused wind gusts up to 106 mph in Cape Blanco, ac­cord­ing to NWS, which also is­sued a bl­iz­zard warn­ing for the Cas­cades and Siskiyou Moun­tains in the same area. Mean­while in the Mid­west, snow rapidly blan­keted parts of Min­nesota, throt­tling flights in and out of Min­neapo­lis and prompt­ing a snow emer­gency in sev­eral cities.

The Bay Area is ex­pected to get a brief respite from the rain — if not the cold — Thurs­day. Thanks­giv­ing it­self is pro­jected to be fairly dry across the re­gion, with tem­per­a­tures in the low 30s in the morn­ing and crawl­ing up to a high of 51 de­grees in San Jose and Oak­land by the af­ter­noon.

Snow gath­ered across the Santa Lu­cia Range in Mon­terey County and Chalone Peak near San Ben­ito on Wed­nes­day, while a smat­ter­ing of snow was also re­ported on Mount Di­ablo.

But the rain is ex­pected to re­turn again for the week­end, with another sys­tem fore­cast to move through the Bay, bring­ing rain “in the or­der of inches,” ac­cord­ing to NWS. That could be­gin as early as Satur­day mid­day and per­sist un­til late Sun­day.

“This was a cold, show­ery sys­tem, but the sec­ond one will come in from the west and have longer du­ra­tion with steady rain,” Wal­brun said.

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