Gusty storm slams, soaks Bay Area

Rain and high winds, including hurricane-force gusts in some areas, lashed the Bay Area overnight, brining down trees and power lines and cutting power to tens of thousands.

The storm that blew through the region Thursday afternoon and early Friday morning generated wind gusts as high as 83 mph in Los Gatos, 76 mph on Mount Diablo, 54 mph in San Jose and 62 mph in Oakland, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Anne Schneider.

Rain totals ranged from 0.25 inches in many areas to 4.5 inches near Guerneville in Sonoma County, Schneider said.

The storm, downed trees and mudslides have kept PG&E crews busy overnight and throughout the morning today.

Since 9 p.m. Thursday, crews have restored power to 53,000 customers around the Bay Area, said PG&E spokeswoman Lynsey Paulo.

“We definitely are experiencing very high winds,” Paulo said. “The ground has been saturated for some time now with all the rain and storms we’ve been experiencing over the last couple of months, and that tends to weaken trees so we’ve had a lot of tree-caused outages.” Paulo said people should be extremely cautious of downed tree limbs and power lines and should call PG&E immediately if they run across fallen poles or lines.

As of 9 a.m. today, PG&E was reporting about 22,500 customers without power around the Bay Area, including 6,500 in Oakland, 1,500 in Albany, about 500 in San Jose and roughly 2,000 in the North Bay.

“Our crews will be out in force until we get all the power restored,” Paulo said.

A new, less powerful storm is expected to hit the region today and last until Saturday afternoon.

Winds are forecast to die down considerably and rain totals will range from between roughly a half-inch in the North Bay to about a third of an inch in the South Bay.