Jan 5, 2023 - News

Heavy winds wreak havoc across Bay Area

Canopy topples at a South San Francisco Valero gas station.

Canopy topples at a South San Francisco Valero gas station. Photo: Josh Edleson/AFP via Getty Images

Heavy winds wreaked havoc in San Francisco and across the Bay Area Wednesday evening, leaving tens of thousands without power and killing at least one person, a young child.

Why it matters: The storm is just one in a series of atmospheric river storms to hit the Golden State, with multiple subsequent disturbances set to spin up across the North Pacific in the coming weeks, Axios' Andrew Freedman writes.

Catch up quick: Much of Wednesday was calm in San Francisco. But at a press conference just after 5 pm, the city’s director of the Department of Emergency Management Mary Ellen Carol declared: "The storm we’ve been waiting for is here."

Meanwhile, in the Sonoma County town of Occidental, a young child (1-2 years of age) died Wednesday after a redwood tree fell onto a home at around 5 pm.

By the numbers: Nearly 100,000 homes and businesses across the Bay Area were without power as of Wednesday evening, PG&E said.

  • Yes, but: Only around 6,500 in San Francisco were affected, including people in the Mission.
  • 24-hour rain totals as of 5 am Thursday morning were .99 inches in San Francisco, far below the New Year's Eve storm that brought over 5 inches.

Of note: While several Bay Area school districts are shut down today, SFUSD told parents Wednesday evening that its classes would remain in session.

What we're watching: How much damage last night's storm caused and where things will go from here.

  • The National Weather Service said this morning that rain showers will continue for the first half of the day, followed by a break until early Friday.
  • Then, they write, subsequent weather systems will likely bring more rain and wind this weekend and beyond.
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