Bay Area storm: Map shows biggest impacts of extreme weather pummeling the region

Weekend rainfall could result in more flooding and landslides

By Chronicle staff
People walk their dogs in the rain and wind along Aquatic Cove in San Francisco.

Adam Pardee / Special to The Chronicle

Since a “bomb cyclone” storm came ashore Jan. 4 , continued heavy downpour and strong gusts have caused flooding, mudslides and power outages, felled trees and led to the deaths of at least 17 people in California.

The Bay Area received a brief respite from the rain on Thursday, but more showers arrived Saturday morning . The rain is expected to continue through Sunday but will likely taper off by Monday afternoon. Water runoff from mountains and hills will continue to flow downwards to low-lying areas and put stress on rivers and creeks. The Russian River in the North Bay and Salinas River on the Central Coast are expected to close in on a moderate flood stage.

The rain has improved drought metrics across the state , with the state in abnormally dry, drought or severe drought conditions. The state no longer has any areas at its most severe level of “extreme drought.”

The Chronicle is continuing to track storm damage and how communities cope with the extreme weather. Scroll down to learn more about major developments throughout the region.


Around 30 cars line up at San Francisco Public Works.
Justin Katigbak / Special to The Chronicle


Wednesday, Jan. 4

People lined up early in the day to pick up sandbags from San Francisco Public Works, which had offered a fresh supply to protect homes and businesses from flooding.

After the department’s supply ran out later in the morning, officials began distributed them again around 12:30 p.m. The department tweeted that supply is very limited in the region . By 5:45 p.m. the city had run out of sandbags again.

The San Francisco Fire Department issued a warning about large pieces of glass falling into the street outside Fox Plaza Apartments at Civic Center. While department spokesperson Lt. Jonathan Baxter could not confirm that gusts from the storm felled the glass, he urged residents to be cautious of wind-borne debris.

Sylvan Mishima Brackett, owner of the Mission District restaurant Rintaro, crawled under the eatery to lay down tarp. Nearly 2 feet of water flooded the 14th Street space after storm drains became clogged the previous Saturday. He was one of many restaurant owners preparing for the storm Wednesday.

As the day progressed, water levels slowly crept up at the Embarcadero.

Heavy rain swept onto the western coast of the city by nightfall, flooding the Ocean Beach parking lot.

Strong gusts of wind also hit the area, blowing sand across the beach.

Despite advisories to stay home, a few drivers braved the storm on Harrison and Main streets. Trees fell on motorists in two separate incidents, one on 1 Zoo Drive and the other on the 100 block of Larkin Street. In both cases, the motorists were rescued and uninjured, police said.

A crushed bicycle under a fallen tree.
Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The Chronicle

A fallen tree crushed a bicycle on Grove Street near the Main Library.

PG&E worked to restore power on the 900 block of South Van Ness Avenue. High winds bent scaffolding, which damaged nearby power lines.

Downtown San Francisco received 10.33 inches of rain during the 10-day period that ended Wednesday, Jan. 4, marking the wettest 10-day period for that area since 1871, according to the National Weather Service/Bay Area.

Thursday, Jan. 5

Enrique Espinoza, the manager of Robin’s Cafe at 17th and Folsom streets, found when he arrived in the morning that all the sandbags protecting the restaurant had been stolen.

Fallen branches blocked the intersection of Cortland Avenue and Wool Street in the morning.

On 24th Street in Noe Valley, San Francisco Public Works employees cleared a large tree that fell on a car.

Jim Macaire stands near a bicycle in front of the damaged Camera Obscura, which is partly cordoned off by yellow "caution" tape.
Gabrielle Lurie / The Chronicle

Friday, Jan. 6

Jim Macaire examined damage to the Camera Obscura at Ocean Beach.

Sunday, Jan. 8

Owner Robert Tacchetto made repairs to the Camera Obscura during the day. The rain returned that night.

San Francisco Public Works crew members remove a tree that fell on a Muni bus.
Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle

Tuesday, Jan. 10

A large tree fell on a Muni bus near Stockton and Sutter streets. No one was injured, according to Muni spokesman Stephen Chun.


Wednesday, Jan. 4

Oakland Airport saw about four-tenths of an inch of rainfall and wind gusts up to 46 mph.

The strong winds knocked down a tree over an apartment complex in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood, displacing its inhabitants.

Patty, a resident of the complex, said she heard a loud bang at 7 p.m. before police told her and other residents to evacuate. There were no injuries, she said.

Oakland increased its number of shelter beds during the storm. St. Vincent de Paul in West Oakland doubled its capacity to 100 beds.

The city also opened an emergency shelter at the Ira Jinkins Center on Edes Avenue, near the Oakland Coliseum.

Near Bella Vista Elementary School, PG&E workers removed fallen trees that had knocked down power lines.

A woman runs past a large pile of mud partially blocking the road.
Jessica Christian / The Chronicle

Thursday, Jan. 5

A mudslide blocked the northbound lane of Skyline Boulevard near Broadway Terrace in Oakland in the morning.

A group of sandbags line a creek with brown rushing water.
Jessica Christian / The Chronicle

Sandbags lined a washed out portion of Sausal Creek near Dimond Canyon Trail in Oakland.

Wood Street encampment resident LaMonté Ford showed a clogged drain that caused flooding in the encampment’s common area after this week’s storms. Residents held a press conference addressing their upcoming eviction and how they have been affected by the weather.

A large crack splits a hillside above a road.
Yalonda M. James / The Chronicle


Residents of 15 homes evacuated the area near Seacliff Drive in Richmond after a large crack in the earth opened up on an eroding hillside.


Wednesday, Jan. 4

A shelter-in-place order was issued in San Rafael on Wednesday spanning from Canal Street to mid-block Novato Street due to multiple blown transformers and live high voltage wires down, according to an alert from the San Rafael Police Department.

Two locations in Marin County recorded two of the top three strongest wind gusts during Wednesday night’s storm, according to the National Weather Service . Pablo Point, a peak just north of the city of Bolinas which sits at an elevation of 937 feet, recorded the strongest gust, at 101 mph, the weather agency announced Thursday.

The other location, Lucas Valley — northeast of San Rafael — recorded the third strongest gust, at 89 mph.

Thursday, Jan. 5

Video captured Thursday morning showed powerful waves crashing into the decks of homes in Stinson Beach. The Bay Area National Weather Service had previously warned of “dangerously large” waves of up to 30 feet for areas of the Coastal North Bay, including Point Reyes National Seashore and San Francisco.

Friday, Jan. 6

A few homes sustained cracks and other damage from the onslaught, said Robert McLean, who works at the Stinson Beach Surf and Kayak shop. Sea walls sustained similar damage, he added.

Dino Colombo salvaged debris after the exterior of his home was partly damaged by rain in Stinson Beach.
Workers removed sand from residential streets in Stinson Beach.


Saturday, Jan. 14

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the Salinas River. There are concerns that the Salinas River could rise high enough to remove access to two highways, effectively restricting travel in and out of the Monterey Peninsula.

Floodwater submerged a welcome sign to a property known as "The Ranch" in Salinas.

Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The Chronicle


Wednesday, Jan. 4

The roof at a South San Francisco Valero gas station collapsed in the evening, according to fire officials. No customers were at the location when firefighters arrived, and no one was hurt during the incident.


Tuesday, Jan. 3

The city of San Jose issued a state of local emergency Tuesday night, and a mandatory evacuation order was issued for unhoused people near the city’s largest waterways.

Evacuation warnings were issued for residents living around the Pacheco Pass River Basin and near the watershed areas of Uvas Reservoir by county officials late in the day .


Wednesday, Jan. 4 and Thursday, Jan. 5

Evacuation orders for many zones across Santa Cruz County were lifted Thursday morning. That included areas around the city of Watsonville, which declared a local state of emergency and asked residents of high flood risk neighborhoods to leave on Wednesday.

Residents of low-lying coastal areas, however, were asked to evacuate if possible or shelter-in-place and avoid ocean-facing windows due to a tidal surge along the coastline.

Thursday, Jan. 5

By Thursday afternoon, oceanfront streets in Capitola Village were closed to the public as high water from the sea began to recede and city public works crews began to inventory the damage. The high surf toppled decks and blew out windows of several restaurants in the village.

Capitola officials, including the vice mayor and city manager, gave an update on damages from the weather conditions in the town during a press conference on Thursday afternoon. “I want to express my condolences to anyone who has lost property or sustained damages … it’s obviously a very tough time,” City Manager Jamie Goldstein said.
Heavy waves strike Seacliff State Beach, which is strewn with debris.
Gabrielle Lurie / The Chronicle

Seacliff State Beach was strewn with debris. Surging waters from Thursday’s storm caused “significant damage throughout the county and along the coast,” county officials said .

The Cement Ship, a landmark for nearly 90 years at Seacliff State Beach, broke away from the pier.

The damaged interior of My Thai Beach includes pulled up floorboards and fallen works of art.
Clara Mokri / Special to The Chronicle

Saturday, Jan. 7

The storms damaged the interior of My Thai Beach in Capitola.

Mailboxes lean over on a muddy and flooded street.
Clara Mokri / Special to The Chronicle

Monday, Jan. 9

The San Lorenzo River left behind mud and water on the streets of Felton Grove after flooding.

A dog played in the flooded Felton Covered Bridge County Park.

Two people sit on lawn chairs on the banks of a flooded San Lorenzo River.
Clara Mokri / Special to The Chronicle

Residents of Santa Cruz watched as the San Lorenzo River spills its banks.

Water collects up the beach to the lifeguard posts at Twin Lakes State Beach.
Clara Mokri / Special to The Chronicle

Twin Lakes State Beach flooded.

A large section along the ocean coast edge of West Cliff Drive has broken off.
Paul Kuroda / Special to The Chronicle

A section of West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz washed away.

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Clara Mokri / Special to The Chronicle

Water gushed from the San Lorenzo River’s outlet into Monterey Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

Waves crashed onto the coast of Santa Cruz.

Dozens of sandbags are stacked up along a suburban home’s garage door behind a flooded driveway.
Brontë Wittpenn / The Chronicle

Sandbags protected a home’s garage door against floodwaters in a residential area north of Watsonville.

Watsonville was inundated with floodwaters.

Two kids ride their bikes along a flooded street.
Brontë Wittpenn / The Chronicle
Miles Henze, 10 (left), and Susannah Ramsay, 10, rode bikes through their neighborhood north of Watsonville. The neighborhood has been flooded since New Year’s Eve.
Two people wearing orange vests study trees and other debris blocking a roadway in a forested area.
Paul Kuroda / Special to The Chronicle

A landslide blocked Highway 9 in Santa Cruz.

On Highway 17, Caltrans crews worked to clear a mudslide resulting from heavy rain in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Monday, Jan. 9

Calvin Davis, 11, checked out the damage to Capitola Beach.

The governor of California speaks before onlookers and reporters at a news conference near the beach.
Santiago Mejia / The Chronicle

Tuesday, Jan. 10

Gov. Gavin Newsom held a news conference in Capitola. He was there to visit business owners in the city and assess storm damage.

Saturday, Jan. 14

Rain fell as fast as half an inch per hour. Felton and low-lying areas of Soquel Village were evacuated.


Wednesday, Jan. 4

Fairfield Police said “standing water” on Vanden Road caused a 19-year-old woman to crash into a utility pole . She died before emergency responders arrived.

Sandbags block the road.
Santiago Mejia / The Chronicle


Wednesday, Jan. 4

Guerneville’s Vacation Beach Road, which leads to the Russian River, was closed. Sonoma County issued an evacuation order for anyone living in the Russian River floodway or below the 40-foot level. The river was forecast to reach a flood stage of 32 feet by the following Sunday afternoon , a change from the previous warning that it could flood by Thursday.

Shops along Main Street in downtown Guerneville are seen on a cloudy day.
Brian Feulner / Special to The Chronicle

Main Street in downtown Guerneville was nearly empty on the day the downpour hit.

Debris covers the property in Occidental where 2-year-old Aeon Tocchini was killed after a redwood tree fell on his home.
Brian Feulner / Special to The Chronicle

A baby died when a redwood tree, knocked down by strong winds, fell into a mobile home in Occidental on Wednesday evening. Three others were in the house at the time but were only slightly injured.

Petaluma police warned residents Wednesday to avoid inundated roadways as local creeks and streams swell from the rain, including the flooded westbound lane of Highway 116 and the partially flooded areas of Browns Lane and on Ely Boulevard South.

Thursday, Jan. 5

A group of people observed the flooded Russian River in Guerneville.

A vineyard near Laguna de Santa Rosa was inundated.

Green Valley Road is inundated.
Brian Feulner / Special to The Chronicle

Flooding near Atascadero Creek closed a portion of Green Valley Road on Thursday.

Vehicles drive through a flooded part of River Road in Forestville.
Preston Gannaway / Special to The Chronicle

Sunday, Jan. 8

Vehicles drive through a flooded part of River Road in Forestville.

Monday, Jan. 9

Meg Cooper and her husband, George Muldoon, walked along Mill Court toward their house in Guerneville. The couple has been without power for five days. “You just have to have a good attitude about it,” Cooper said of the flooding.

A man on higher ground looks toward a vehicle on a road partially submerged in floodwaters.
Marlena Sloss / Special to The Chronicle
Nick Castro of Santa Rosa looked to see if there are people inside vehicles caught in floodwaters in Woolsey.
A 43-year-old woman was found dead near the area of flooded vineyard along the 6000 block of Trenton-Healdsburg Road in Forestville.
Benjamin Fanjoy / Special to The Chronicle

Wednesday, Jan. 11

Daphne Fontino, a 43-year-old woman from Ukiah, was found dead in a submerged car in Forestville on the property of a Russian River Valley vineyard. According to the Sheriff's office, a search was made on Tuesday morning when a 911 call reported a submerged car. The search was called off when night fell and began again Wednesday morning. The car ws spotted at 7:30, but Fontino had already died.


Wednesday, Jan. 4

Denali Cheng, 8 (right), and Miles Gomez, 9, played in the snow during a break between storm systems. Businesses around South Lake Tahoe had been expecting to be hit hard by more snow, and possibly rain. But aside from a few flurries and some sprinkles, conditions were mild.

A line of vehicles makes its way down Highway 50 toward South Lake Tahoe.
Brontë Wittpenn / The Chronicle

Thursday, Jan. 5

Under a winter storm warning in effect through Friday, travel was discouraged as conditions in the Sierra were forecast to include heavy snow and wind gusts of 100 mph on the ridgelines.

Colin Farnsworth removed snow from his driveway in South Lake Tahoe. Snow fell overnight and continued into the afternoon.

Odilio Vargas lay in the snow near Lake Tahoe Harbor.


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Editing, design and development by Alex K. Fong , Maren Kranking , Emma Stiefel and Stephanie Zhu . Editing and design by Todd Trumbull . Visuals editing by Nicole Frugé and Daymond Gascon .