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1st Wave Of Storms Strikes Bay Area; More On Radar

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Rain was expected to pound the Bay Area throughout the weekend, National Weather Service meteorologist Diana Henderson said.

Henderson said Wednesday morning’s weather was representative of how the rest of the day will be.

“What you see is a harbinger of the day to come: wet, windy and a slight chance of thunderstorms,” she said.

Henderson said winds of up to 50 mph were possible on the coast and in some areas of the East Bay Wednesday. Rain will persist all week and through the weekend, but the winds will die down, she said.

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Temperatures are expected be in the lower 60s this week, Henderson said.

“It’s going to be chilly and uncomfortable,” Henderson said. “But this is not unusual weather for this time of year.”

High winds were reported on the San Mateo-Hayward, Richmond-San Rafael and Bay bridges Wednesday.

And on northbound U.S. Highway 101 in Marin County, the Sir Francis Drake Boulevard off-ramp near Greenbrae was partially flooded Wednesday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.

“General highway conditions get dicier in this type of weather,” Henderson said.

Henderson said there is little threat of local rivers and streams flooding Wednesday, but that flooding could be a concern by the end of the weekend.

Authorities in the North Bay are reassuring residents that, despite the stormy weather and heavy rainfall, there is little chance of local streams and rivers flooding in the immediate future.

Emergency officials in San Anselmo, Santa Rosa and Napa said no major flooding is anticipated in those cities Wednesday.

“We are expecting at least two storms that will bring 4-10 inches of rain with localized flooding,” said Ed Buonaccorsi, emergency preparedness coordinator for the Santa Rosa Fire Department.

“The current storm will pass through today with a second storm starting tomorrow evening with heavier rain,” he said. “At this time, there is no prediction for the Russian River to hit “monitor” or “flood” stage.”

Power Outages

PG&E crews are working to restore power in a number of Bay Area cities affected by outages Wednesday, a utility spokesman said.

The biggest outage was in Pacifica, where a downed wire at Carmel and Palmetto avenues left 1,120 customers without power at about 9:15 a.m., PG&E spokesman Jason King said.

King said most of the morning’s outages were on the Peninsula and in the South Bay.

In Woodside, an outage reported at 9:11 a.m. affected 400 customers, King said.

And in Half Moon Bay, about 160 customers were without power because of an outage reported at about 9:20 a.m., King said. No significant outages have been reported in the North Bay or the East Bay, he said.

King said crews are prepared to react quickly to any new reports of outages.

Airport Delays

Strong winds and rain were affecting numerous flights at San Francisco International Airport Wednesday, a duty manager said.

The weather is causing delays to arriving flights of up to three and a half hours, duty manager Nancie Parker said.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

The Federal Aviation Administration has implemented its flow-control program for SFO because of the weather, slowing the rate of arrivals. The program will be in effect throughout the day, Parker said.

No departing flights had been delayed as of 8:15 a.m., but the late arrivals will eventually affect turnaround, and Parker said she expects a number of delays to outgoing flights.

Twenty short-haul flights, heading to and from airports in Orange County, Monterey, Santa Barbara and other West Coast destinations have been canceled, Parker said.

“This is definitely uncommon,” Parker said.

Roadway Flooding

Flooding occurred early Wednesday on a northbound U.S. Highway 101 off-ramp in Marin County, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The Sir Francis Drake Boulevard off-ramp near Greenbrae became  flooded around 7:45 a.m., according to the CHP.

Lanes on the off-ramp heading in both directions toward Sir Francis Drake Boulevard were affected by pooling water, according to the CHP.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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