Storm Triggers Flooding, Mudslides, Batters Wine Country

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A fierce winter storm battered the Bay Area early Tuesday, flooding roadways, toppling trees, triggering mudslides, forcing school closures and stranding several drivers on water-logged Highway 121 in Sonoma County.

The storm – the second of three predicted for this week – roared into the Bay Area Monday night with driving downpours and gusty winds.

Flash flood warnings were issued for rivers and creeks in Alameda, Napa, Marin and Santa Cruz counties while flood waters rushed through downtown San Anselmo.

In Kentfield, where 6.30 inches of rain has fallen in the last 24 hours, fire crews helped residents stranded by the rising flood waters as a creek overflowed near College of Marin. At least seven people were rescued who were trapped in homes or cars.

Marin County Fire Battalion Chief Bret McTigue said about 40 homes in the area have substantial amounts of water in them.

Several Marin County school districts were forced to close including the Kentfield School District, the Ross School District, Tam Union, Mill Valley and Sausalito/Marin City schools. The Lagunitas and Fairfield-Suisun schools were also closed.

In Sonoma County, schools in the Piner-Olivet Union School District, Guerneville School, the Harmony Union School District in Occidental, the Two Rock Union Elementary School District in Petaluma and Flowery Elementary School in Sonoma were also closed.

In San Rafael, a massive wall of mud crushed a home on Mountain View Ave. Fortunately, the family was able to escape unharmed.

Another massive slide — this one in the Santa Cruz Mountains — forced the CHP to shut down Highway in both directions.

The slide happened at West Vine Hill Road in Scotts Valley. CHP had no projected time of reopening the often troubled stretch of highway.

Mother Nature also put on a spectacular show at the Conn Creek Dam at Lake Hennessey in the Vaca Mountains where the spillway gave way to a raging waterfall.

Gusty winds toppled a big rig on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, shutting down all traffic in the eastbound direction for several hours.

big rig richmond bridge Storm Triggers Flooding, Mudslides, Batters Wine Country

In Pleasant Hill, a swollen creek helped a sinkhole opened up in Brookside Park.

brookside park sinkhole Storm Triggers Flooding, Mudslides, Batters Wine Country

In Redwood City, high tides and storm runoff flooded a mobile home park at 3015 E. Bayshore.

redwood city moible home flood Storm Triggers Flooding, Mudslides, Batters Wine Country

The North Bay, particularly Napa and Sonoma counties, bore the brunt of the wintry onslaught.

More than 2 inches of rain had fallen before daybreak in Yountville with the National Weather Service issuing a flood warning for the Napa River near St. Helena. The river ran over its banks at 5 a.m. with it expected to rise almost another 3 feet during the morning hours.

napa flooding chp Storm Triggers Flooding, Mudslides, Batters Wine Country

Downriver, the waterway was expected to crest above flood stage at 25.9 feet by 3 p.m. in downtown Napa.

Around Napa County, the storm was causing widespread damage and flooding. Lodi Lane in St. Helena was closed due to flooding as was Deer Park Road between Highway 29 and Silverado Trail.

Flooding was widespread along the Silverado Trial as Yountville Cross Road and Oak Knoll Ave were also closed by flooding.

A mudslide closed Redwood Road about 1/2 mile from the Napa city limits and another slide forced the closure of Redwood Road at Browns Valley Road.

Meanwhile, Silverado Trail between Zinfandel Lane and Pope Street was shut down by a toppled tree and downed power lines. The same was true at Sanitarium Road at Glass Mountain Road and Deer Park Road.

In Sonoma County, three vehicles were stranded on Highway 121 near Highway 12 as water flooded the roadway around 1 a.m. Six people were rescued from the cars by the Schellville Fire Department.

napa flooding kpix Storm Triggers Flooding, Mudslides, Batters Wine Country

Elsewhere in Sonoma County, a mudslide and toppled tree shut down River Road at Sunset Drive in Forestville.

A flash flood warning was issued for southeastern Marin County as the Fairfax Creek ran over its banks and downpours were expected to do the same on Corte Madera Creek in San Anselmo.

Flood waters also rushed across Sir Francis Drake Blvd. near Marin General Hospital, stranding motorists.

Across the Bay Area, the California Highway Patrol reported dozens of accidents during the morning commute including a big rig that was blown over by powerful winds on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

In San Mateo County, Pescadero Creek Road was closed by flooding in both directions at Bean Hollow Road.

The storm also pummeled the already water-logged Santa Cruz Mountains. Ben Lomond had received 4.74 inches over the last 24 hours.

Runoff from the downpours rapidly filled the San Lorenzo River forcing homes to be evacuated in Felton Grove area.

felton flooding kcbs photo Storm Triggers Flooding, Mudslides, Batters Wine Country

Meanwhile, runoff from the storm filled Walnut Creek and turned the normal placid waters into a raging river.

In San Francisco, high tides and storm runoff flooded the heavily travel Embarcadero, reducing it to one lane in the northbound direction. Across the Bay in Oakland, a 100-foot eucaltptus tree toppled onto Shepherd Canyon Road closing the roadway.

Meanwhile, the storm was causing havoc at San Francisco International Airport where flights were delayed by more than 3 hours.

The gusty southwestern winds that had triggered a weather advisory toppled trees across the Bay Area disrupting power to nearly 21,000 utility customers.

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