Taza Khabre

A windy day brings damage to the San Francisco Bay Area

The worst of the storm appears to have passed Sunday night in the San Francisco Bay Area, after rain drenched the region and wind knocked down trees throughout the day.

But residents will be dealing with the consequences for days to come. More than 300,000 Bay Area homes were without power Sunday night, some roads remained closed, and there were reports of damaged homes and vehicles.

While Northern California communities were worried about flooding before the storm hit, the fierce winds ended up causing more problems.

Tall trees fell on highways and blocked traffic. Ferries in San Francisco Bay were brought back to shore. An outdoor dining area in Noe Valley even slid into the middle of the road before bar patrons and neighbors ran outside and pushed it back into place.

In Marin County, winds approached 90 miles per hour on mountaintops and toppled trees, power lines and structures.

Trina Baucom, 60, was less than 100 feet from the Point Reyes Lighthouse parking lot when she turned around. Rocks and sand flew across the road as her Jeep Wrangler swayed on the narrow road more than 200 feet above the Pacific Ocean.

“It was pretty awful up there,” she shouted over the wind and driving rain.

On a cattle ranch east of the lighthouse, William Nunes, 27, watched as the wind ripped a calf house from the ground and sent it flying and over the hill.

Then the roof of his barn went. Several sheets the length of two cars were torn off and landed next to dozens of wet cows. The metal sheets shook violently, the wind threatening to send them flying again, until two ranch workers secured them to the manure-covered ground while Mr. Nunes poured gravel on top to weigh them down.

In San Francisco, one of the most dramatic scenes of the storm took place at 18th and Market streets, half a mile west of the Castro district. A giant pine tree on a city-owned hill fell mid-morning, causing a small landslide that carried soil and tree limbs onto the road.

Officials closed that section of Market Street, a major thoroughfare, while they waited hours for arborists to arrive and remove the tree. Sgt. Mike Mitchell of the San Francisco Police Department, who stood with other police officers and traffic control officers surveying the scene, said the city simply does not have enough arborists to maintain its urban forest.

Elsewhere in the city, branches and entire trees fell, including a car parked near Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, and across the street near Twin Peaks. The emergency department warned people to “avoid walking in parks and other areas with trees”. There were no reports of injuries from falling trees.

On top of that, there were strong winds, more than rain last minute cancellation of the San Francisco Half Marathon on Sunday morning, bringing disappointment to some runners and relief to others.

Not everything was terrible. By noon, in a sunny respite between storms, a huge rainbow appeared over the city.

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