SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A slow moving storm front rolled through Northern California early Thursday, dumping as much as two inches of rain in the wildfire scarred wine country and creating chaos for the Bay Area morning commute.
The National Weather Service said a low pressure system had dipped into the Bay Area from the northwest and was drawing moisture from an upper level stream of humid air streaming into the area from the south.
The combination brought heavy rain throughout the Bay Area. In wine country, Atlas Peak — where the deadly Atlas wildfire roared to life in October — received 1.68 inches of rain by 8 a.m., Santa Rosa, where the Fountaingrove and the Coffey Park neighborhoods were devastated by the Tubbs Fire, got 1.90 inches and St. Helena got 1.92 inches.
However, fears of possible mudslides in the areas charred by the fires proved to be unfounded as the hillsides were saturated but stable during the showers.
On the Bay Area freeways, the storm triggered dozens of accidents.
A big-rig struck a power pole in Fremont early Thursday, knocking out power to a neighborhood, according to police and utility officials.
Fremont police initially reported the crash on social media shortly after 5:15 a.m. and said it occurred near Auto Mall Parkway and Boscell Road.
No one was injured in the crash, but power lines fell into the roadway. PG&E crews responded and moved the lines from the roadway. At it’s height, some 3,000 PG&E customers lost service.
On northbound state Highway 121, a big-rig carrying more than 100 live chickens overturned shutting down the roadway just south of Ramal Road.
The California Highway Patrol said the crash was reported at 5:33 a.m. Chickens freed from their cages were running all over the freeway.
A Sig-alert was issued at 6:22 a.m. and traffic was diverted off the roadway at Ramal Road and Napa Road.
In San Francisco, flooded roadways shut down southbound Great Highway and also a connector ramp to Highway 101. Meanwhile, the CHP reported that an overturned vehicle blocked lanes in Highway 101 heading to the Golden Gate Bridge at 6:40 a.m.