High winds wreak havoc around Bay Area

Strong winds sweeping through the Bay Area Tuesday morning have knocked out power to thousands, slowed BART throughout the system, and delayed travel at San Francisco International Airport.

Around 24,000 customers have lost power in the Bay Area today due to high winds, PG&E officials said this afternoon. Around 16,000 of those customers had their power restored as of around 12:30 p.m., leaving about 8,000 still without power, PG&E officials said.

UPDATE 4:13 p.m.: BART service disrupted by winds in San Francisco, East Bay.

The majority of those are in the East Bay, where around 6,350 customers remain without power this afternoon, and in the North Bay where 940 customers are affected. PG&E has about 1,500 personnel out working to clear downed vegetation and lines and restore service.

PG&E spokeswoman Brittany McKannay said:

“We are still seeing windy weather and I think we’ll be seeing that all day. … We’re going to continue to see outages today and we’re going to be continuing to restore them into the evening.”

At SFO, Travelers can expect delays of up to 89 minutes at San Francisco International Airport today because of windy conditions, an airport duty manager said. A delay program is in effect at the airport from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. today, SFO duty manager Bob Rotiski said:

“That doesn’t mean all the flights are delayed, but there could be some.”

Ground delay programs, also known as “flow control,” are used when the Federal Aviation Administration slows the arrival rate of incoming aircraft getting ready to land, according to the airport.

UPDATE 4:24 p.m.: Gusty winds break boats free from docks.

The National Weather Service has announced a hazardous weather outlook in the Bay Area due to strong and gusty winds. Forecasters are expecting breezy conditions with gusts of up to 36 mph as strong northerly winds blow across the region through midday Wednesday.

As of 10:56 a.m., weather conditions at SFO included mostly clear skies with 22 mph winds and a temperature of 50 degrees, according to the weather service.

The high winds are causing problems with BART as well.

BART has stopped all train service in both directions between Daly City and the 24th Street Mission station in San Francisco due to debris in the trackway caused by high winds. Trains are running at reduced speeds due to weather conditions, agency officials said.

National Weather Service officials said the strongest winds would be felt in the Bay Area from around noon today through noon Wednesday and could reach speeds of up to 45 mph. Wind gusts could reach up to 55 mph in the North and East Bay areas, according to the weather service.

In the East Bay, three westbound lanes of traffic on Concord Avenue are expected to be closed for several hours Tuesday near the on-ramp to Interstate Highway 680 because of a tree that reportedly fell on a vehicle, Concord police said.

The lanes are closed at Diamond Boulevard near the highway on-ramp following an incident first called in to dispatchers at 11:32 a.m., police said. No one was injured by the fallen tree, which is not affecting the Highway 680 on-ramp.