The National Weather Service wasn’t kidding about that wind advisory, as a couple hours into it, winds have topped 60 miles per hour, an estimated 70,000 in the Bay Area are without power, and PG&E and the fire department are playing whack-a-mole with downed trees and lines.
We mentioned this morning that the National Weather Service was putting out a wind advisory, one that would start at 1 p.m. today, with winds possibly reaching as strong as 55 miles per hour. It was worse than expected! KGO’s savvy weather fellow Drew Tuma tells us winds were “gusting to 63mph in both San Francisco and Oakland” at around 2 p.m. Tuesday, and that wind gusts reached 76 miles per hour on the Golden Gate Bridge.
76mph wind gust on the Golden Gate Bridge pic.twitter.com/9kKZ30zyup— Drew Tuma (@DrewTumaABC7) February 21, 2023
And things are even worse on the Bay Bridge, as a 3:44 p.m. tweet from the CHP San Francisco division informs us that on I-80 westbound on the bridge at Treasure Island, “a large tree has fallen & is currently blocking the 3 right lanes.”
I-80 w/b (SFOBB) @ Treasure Island— CHP San Francisco (@CHPSanFrancisco) February 21, 2023
San Francisco Fire Department is also on-scene and assisting in the removal of the fallen tree. pic.twitter.com/z5HWv1MoHY
According to a 3:14 p.m. update from KGO, “PG&E is reporting 65,000 to 70,000 power outages in the Bay Area.” Their 4 p.m. update notes that 7,224 SF customers are currently without power.
SFist has been watching this PG&E outage map all afternoon, and the orange areas (significant outages) have been growing more than they’ve been shrinking. The Mission Terrace areas were just added to other areas that have been showing as being without power most of the afternoon; the Mission, the Excelsior, Vis Valley, and Parkmerced.
Pine Lake, @sfzoo, @SFBGS & the Japanese Tea Garden, as well as @TPCHardingPark, Lincoln Park & Golden Gate Park golf courses are all currently closed due to high winds. There is also a road closure on JFK Dr. between Spreckels Lake & 30th Ave. due to a downed tree. pic.twitter.com/xlX1Dcv11k— San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (@RecParkSF) February 21, 2023
High winds have closed down shop at the SF Zoo, the SF Botanical Gardens, the Japanese Tea Garden, and several golf courses, according to Rec and Parks.
This is for wind-related issues NOT A FIRE https://t.co/sAdI5HFeuw— SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT MEDIA (@SFFDPIO) February 21, 2023
And the SF Fire Department and SF Department of Emergency Management have been tweeting the above type content all afternoon, with the Department of Emergency Management tweeting “Avoid the area of so-and-so,” and the fire department quickly retweeting the alert declaring “This is for wind-related issues NOT A FIRE.” There are nearly a dozen such downed tree incidents they’ve described today.
The winds are whipping throughout the Peninsula. A massive tree came down on this house in Redwood City. Homeowner is okay, but shaken up.— Max Darrow (@MaxDarrowTV) February 21, 2023
12,357 people on Peninsula without power as of 1:00pm, says PG&E. @KPIXtv #CAwx pic.twitter.com/36ONv9ShSy
And folks, this is just Day One of what is expected to be a five-day storm. The rain hasn’t even started yet! That’s expected to come tomorrow morning, and the NWS Bay Area warns, "Between Wednesday and Saturday morning, the total rainfall amounts around the Bay Area and the Salinas Valley would be 0.75 to 1.00 inches.”
Image: @CHPSanFrancisco via Twitter