Around 2,000 PG&E customers in San Francisco lost power on Tuesday, and around 273,000 others across the region are also in the dark as the Bay Area gets lashed with winds at the back side of this latest atmospheric river storm.
The winds began picking up Tuesday morning just after the latest round of rain passed through, and a high-wind advisory is in effect until 11 p.m. tonight.
SFO was under a ground stop as of 1:45 p.m., with all planes being held on the tarmac or at their gates — and starting early this morning, SFO said it was experiencing 80-minute average delays across the board due to wind. Just after 2 p.m. the airport tweeted that the ground stop had ended.
The National Weather Service said that down the California coast, between SFO and Santa Barbara Airport (SBA), surface pressure has been dropping — for the weather nerds, they say, "Wondering why it is so windy today, well the surface pressure gradient has steadily been dropping between SFO and SBA this morning, and is currently -15.8 mb."
Flooding has been occurring in western Sonoma County today as well, with Armstrong Woods Road in Guerneville seeing some significant flooding. Local photographer Kent Porter tweeted images of a sprinter van that got caught in floodwaters on that road and stalled out. A driver and two passengers required rescue by raft.
Flash flooding continues in #SonomaCounty. Driver of a van and two other occupants had to be rescued by @SoCoFireDist after the vehicle stalled in flooding on Armstrong Woods Rd., in Guerneville, Tuesday afternoon. @NorthBayNews @NWSBayArea #CAwx #AtmosphericRiver pic.twitter.com/kjUEXjJJeL— Kent Porter (@kentphotos) March 14, 2023
Downtown Guerneville appears ok so far — but flooding could very well be possible this season. NOAA's California River Forecast Center has the Russian River cresting on Wednesday morning at around 28 feet, which is just at or below flood stage. The Russian River hit a similar crest on Friday night into Saturday morning.
Many people are without power for various reasons, though downed trees and power lines are a likely culprit. The Chronicle reported that around 70,000 customers were without power on the Peninsula Tuesday (as of 2 p.m.), 1,800 were affected in San Francisco proper, and nearly 89,000 in the East Bay and 115,000 in the South Bay.
Flooding is imminent up and down the state, and remains at its worst near the Central Coast, and in parts of Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, currently. Residents along the Feather River in Plumas County have been warned that they may need to seek higher ground, and as the New York Times reports, residents in Santa Barbara County and low-lying areas of San Luis Obispo County are watching for overflowing creeks and rivers too.
Photo: San Mateo County Sheriff/Twitter
This post has been updated to reflect increased power outages.