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Rain, wind return to San Francisco as PG&E crews rush to restore power

A car drives along a roadway beside water, with a bridge to an island standing in the distance.
Rainy, windy weather returned to San Francisco, with about a half-inch expected through late afternoon, the National Weather Service said Wednesday. | Source: RJ Mickelson/The Standard

Rainy, windy weather returned to San Francisco Wednesday but was not expected to wreak as much havoc as last weekend's powerful storm.

National Weather Service meteorologist Nicole Sarment said an upper-level trough moving through the Bay Area from late morning through late afternoon would bring up to half an inch of rain Wednesday, with northwest winds from 25 to 30 mph. Although those winds will not surpass the dangerous gusts from the weekend's storm, they could impact at-risk trees in rain-softened soils.

"I'm not sure of their thresholds for repairing stuff," Sarment told The Standard when asked about PG&E crews' power restoration efforts, "but I'm sure the wind doesn't necessarily help."

Temperatures five to 10 degrees below normal will follow Wednesday night, with overnight lows reaching the low to mid-40s. Frost advisories are expected in parts of the North Bay's exterior valleys.  

READ MORE: Nearly 55,000 still without power in Bay Area following storm

Vehicles travel in light traffic atop an elevated bridge span under cloudy skies.
Strong weather conditions led to high-wind advisories on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and other spans Sunday. | Source: RJ Mickelson/The Standard

Last weekend's system brought 3 inches of rain and sent heavy winds barreling across San Francisco and the Bay Area, toppling hundreds of trees and knocking out power for thousands.

As of noon Wednesday, the Bay Area had 28,558 customers still in the dark, with 127 customers without power in San Francisco. The city's numbers have fallen from 2,224 customers without power Tuesday and 4,909 customers on Monday.

Outside the city, the North Bay and South Bay had 16,849 and 7,226 customers each without power, while the Peninsula had 4,028. The East Bay went from 2,081 customers in the dark Tuesday morning to 180 on Tuesday afternoon, but had 328 customers with power out Wednesday morning.

Mass transit largely avoided major disruptions from the Sunday storm, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesperson Michael Roccaforte told The Standard. Subway systems kept running despite some power outages.

“Prioritizing the recovery of rail and trolley bus systems across the city was the key to a swift recovery,” Roccaforte said.

There were more than 290 reports of downed trees or limbs on Sunday, Department of Emergency Management spokesperson Denny Machuca-Grebe said late Tuesday. Winds also caused 128 power outages affecting some 25,000 customers.

Some residential buildings sustained damage, forcing temporary evacuations, but there were no reports of displacements. Flooding occurred in the Bayview District and Noe Valley neighborhoods but did not surge at other common trouble spots.

Machuca-Grebe said the city worked ahead of the storm to provide shelter space and distribute emergency supplies to homeless residents, with six shelters easing access rules to take in over dozens of people after outreach teams encouraged people to come inside.

“This storm was certainly impactful but underscores that the city of San Francisco and their residents are resilient,” Machuca-Grebe said.

George Kelly can be reached at gkelly@sfstandard.com

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