OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A tree weakened by last weekend’s stormy weather toppled onto State Route 13 in the Oakland Hills early Tuesday, triggering three separate accidents, heavily damaging the vehicles involved, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The CHP said incident took place around 2:50 a.m. on SR 13 near Park Blvd. Fortunately no one was injured, but the photos revealed significant damage to all three cars.
The danger of falling trees and limbs was expected to increase later Tuesday as the latest storm front slams into the region. The National Weather Services issued a wind advisory starting at 1 p.m. Tuesday through 10 a.m. Wednesday, predicting steady winds of 20-30 mph with gusts of up to 60 mph.
Rain was in the forecast for much of the week through Sunday, adding more moisture to the already saturated soil.
“We’ll continue to be under a wet pattern for at least the next 7-10 days,” the weather service said. “As the rain accumulates and soils saturate this week and into the weekend, will have to monitor for an increasing risk of mudslides and debris flows.”
A falling tree over the weekend claimed the life of a 32-year-old Novato man on the UC Berkeley campus.
Authorities said a 250-foot eucalyptus tree toppled onto a car on Gayley Road at 3:48 p.m. Sunday. UC police responded to the scene and found Alexander Grant of Novato inside the crushed vehicle. He was unresponsive and declared dead at the scene.
The Alameda County Coroner’s Office told Berkeleyside.com that Grant was not listed as a UC Berkeley student and was likely on campus to visit a student.
Monday, crews worked to remove the massive tree. One witness who saw the accident said the victim died instantly. UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said the university is currently conducting a campus-wide tree maintenance program.
In a statement, UC Berkeley said, “We are taking immediate steps to assess whether we can learn anything from the condition of the fallen tree that could improve our evaluation of whether other trees pose a threat to public safety. We expect this work to be completed in the next 48 hours and will, as we have in the past, remove trees as per the recommendations and assessments we receive from certified arborists.”
Brian Gates, owner of Expert Tree Service which was removing the fallen tree Monday, was surprised. “This is a tree that we didn’t expect to fail,” said Gates. “It’s unusual.”
Sunday’s storm ripped through the Bay Area with drenching rains and gusty winds. Trees and power lines toppled across the region, closing several roadways including State Highway 152 in unincorporated Santa Clara County and State Highway 9 around one mile south of 236 Upper Road in Boulder Creek in unincorporated Santa Cruz County.
Over the a 24-hour span ending at 8 a.m. Monday, 5.53 inches of rain had fallen at Ben Lomond in the Santa Cruz Mountains, 3.90 inches in Kentfield and 4.41 inches in San Anselmo in Marin County, 3 inches at St. Helena in Wine Country, 2.49 inches at Mt. Diablo in Contra Costa County, 1.58 inches in Oakland, 1.26 inches in San Francisco and 2 inches in Gilroy.
“These rainfall totals produced small stream flooding especially across the North Bay, with reports of minor landslides and roadway flooding,” the National Weather Service said.