SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A deadly weather front continued to pummel the Bay Area early Thursday, toppling trees, flooding roadways and triggering lightning, thunder and hailstorms.
Three people have lost their lives in the storm that roared into the area on Wednesday. A family of three from Fremont also died in a car crash on rain-slicked Highway 50 during stormy weather on Tuesday.
Among the storm victims was a homeless man who was killed when a 30-foot tree toppled into his encampment on Caltrans property along Ardley Avenue near the Interstate Highway 580 overcrossing Wednesday evening.
The man may have been “just trying to stay dry,” California Highway Patrol Officer Herman Baza said. “Unfortunately, that protection was deadly.”
He has been identified by the Alameda County coroner’s bureau as 42-year-old transient Anthony Rippee.
In Mill Valley, California Highway Patrol Officer Andrew Barclay emailed, a man was struck and killed by a car as he was trying to avoid a falling tree. The incident took place near the intersection of Laverne Ave. and North Ferndale Ave.
According to the CHP, a neighbor in the area had observed downed power lines and called 911 to report them. As they were waiting for emergency crews to arrive, two more neighbors arrived, one on foot and one driving a van.
“As the group was conversing, a strong gust of wind caused the tree above them to crack,” the CHP said. “The group, fearing for their safety, attempted to flee. As the male ran around the front of the vehicle, the driver began moving forward, striking him.”
The dead man was identified Thursday afternoon as 52-year-old Darren Malvin, the CEO of American Solar Corp., a Sausalito-based company.
Elsewhere, toppled trees littered yards and roadways throughout the region as wind gusts reached tornadic levels. Parts of Marin and Petaluma clocked 90 mph winds with a gust of 98 mph in Lucas Valley overnight. That is the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane.
A 200-year-old oak tree towering 100 feet over James Holmes’ suburban San Francisco home toppled over in the wind Wednesday night.
“My family lived under it in our house, for 70 years,” he said.
At dawn, there were more than 16,000 customers without power in the North Bay. PG&E spokeswoman Karly Hernandez said around 7,465 lost power on the Peninsula, 5,905 in the South Bay and 4,315 in the East Bay.
Two North Bay schools — El Molino High School and Horicon Elementary — were closed for the day because of power outages.
In Danville, a mudslide had closed La Gonda Way between El Pintado and La Gonda Court. Debris, including rocks and mud came down onto the right lane of southbound Highway 17 overnight. CalTrans responded and shut the lane down between Los Gatos and Bear Creek Road and were removing the slide and shoring up the the hillside.
Meanwhile, Highway 35 was closed in both directions due to a mudslide and trees down across the roadway.
As for 24-hour rain totals, the National Weather Service said 3.26 inches had fallen in Yountville, 3.64 inches at Atlas Peak in Napa County, 2.52 at Point Reyes, 1.93 inches in Mill Valley, 2.12 inches at Mt Diablo and 2.82 at Ben Lomond in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Intense downpours continued early Thursday with a line of thundershowers rolling through San Francisco and the East Bay between 7:40 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
“The Napa and Russian rivers are continuing to rise but are expected to crest early Thursday and remain below flood stage,” the weather service said. “A few rivers across the southern portion of the area continue to be on the rise with a few rising into minor flood stage.”
In San Jose, the Guadalupe River was expected to rise slightly above the so-called “Minor Flood Stage” but it appears that the river is receding. A flood advisory for the area expired at 7:30 a.m.
A high surf warning was in effect for the coast until 5 a.m. Friday. Waves over 30 feet high were predicted for the area’s west and southwest facing
“Large breaking waves along the coast will lead to increased wave run-up on beaches with waves topping and washing over large rocks and jetties,” the National Weather Service warned. “These large waves can be erratic and unpredictable. Use extra caution near the surf zone as these large waves will be capable of sweeping people into the frigid and turbulent ocean water.”
High tides would also be an issue. The weather service issued a coastal flood advisory for low-lying areas along the Pacific coast and San Francisco Bay shoreline through 9 a.m. Thursday.
Along San Francisco’s waterfront, the high tides and high waves on the San Francisco Bay triggered flooding on the Embarcadero where one lane was shut down.
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