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Live Storm Blog: 14 Californians Killed, Heavy Rains and Hail Possible

Written by The Standard StaffUpdated at Jan. 10, 2023 • 6:27amPublished Jan. 09, 2023 • 7:24am
Flooded area at Mission and Eighth streets on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023 | Sophie Bearman/The Standard

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6:20 a.m. | Hail and Heavy Winds

“Heavy rain, hail, and gusty winds possible,” the National Weather Service reported at 6:17 a.m. Tuesday morning as the San Francisco Bay Area remained under a flood watch.

In Oakland and other parts of the East Bay, the rain pounded down around 6:15 a.m. as the storm briefly intensified, with a special weather statement in effect until 6:45 a.m. for Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco.

5:45 a.m. | 14 Lives Lost

Speaking on Monday afternoon, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the ongoing winter storms have killed 14 Californians so far, noting that that number is higher than the number of deaths claimed by wildfires in the past two years combined.

“Our message to Californians is simple: be hyper-vigilant,” said Newsom. “There are still several days of severe winter weather ahead and we need all Californians to be alert and heed the advice of emergency officials.”

7:45 p.m. | Parade of Storms To Continue Drenching California

The atmospheric river flowing across the Pacific Ocean to cover California and the Pacific Northwest with heavy rains will continue its weeks-long onslaught.

The wet and windy weather that the Bay Area has experienced since Dec. 26 shows no significant reduction, according to National Weather Service’s (NWS) Monday afternoon three-day forecast.

“When all is said and done, precipitation totals over the next few days will be in the 3-7 inch range through the Transverse Range of Southern California, northward along the central to northern California coast ranges and through the Sierra,” an NWS report said.

Much of the state has had 400-600% above average rainfall totals over the past few weeks.

“This has resulted in nearly saturated soils and increasingly high river levels,” the report said. “Additional heavy rains on Tuesday will exacerbate ongoing flooding and continue the risk of flash flooding and mudslides, especially across recent burn scar regions.”

The upside to all of the stormy weather? Rising reservoir levels across the state.

“Many reservoirs are now above their historical average levels, with water levels increasing rapidly during the past month,” the report said.

3 p.m. | Mayor Breed Issues Retroactive Emergency Declaration

Mayor London Breed retroactively issued an emergency declaration to streamline the city’s response to the storm and flooding. The declaration will also help the city recover costs from the state and federal government. The declaration dates back to Dec. 31 to cover the last 10 days of severe weather. It must be ratified by the city’s Board of Supervisors in the next week.

1:45 p.m. | Pescadero Creek Floods

Flooding around San Mateo County’s Pescadero Creek is causing problems for drivers. County firefighters responded to a stalled vehicle in the flood waters between Bean Hollow and Stage Road on Monday.

“It only takes 6 inches of water to sweep a vehicle off the road,” officials warned.

10:45 a.m. | Mudslide Closes Road

Southbound State Route 17 just south of Glenwood Drive is closed due to a mudslide. Motorists should expect delays and are encouraged to take an alternate route.

10:25 a.m. | Rainy Oakland

Drops of rain settle on a center divider in front of mural along Broadway and 19th streets in Oakland.

Another severe storm brought significant rain, flooding and downed trees throughout the San Francisco Bay Area on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023. | RJ Mickelson/The Standard

9:48 a.m. | Beware Flooded Roads

It’s gray skies and no rain in San Francisco Monday morning, but signs of the overnight downpour persist, with flooded roads across the city. In SoMa, cyclists skirted this flooded area of Mission and Eighth streets, where a clogged drain meant water had accumulated on the sidewalk and along the bike lane.

Flooded area at Mission and Eighth streets on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023 | Sophie Bearman/The Standard

Earlier Monday morning, flooding caused commuter delays near Golden Gate Park.

8:10 a.m. | Beware Falling Trees

One of the many impacts of the storms is the thousands of broken trees across the state, a loss for California and a hazard for its residents.

California Highway Patrol (CHP) issued an alert that a downed tree on southbound State Route 13 near Moraga Avenue in Oakland has blocked all lanes.

A tree came down outside a house in Rockridge just after 6 a.m. Monday morning. | Heather Grossmann/The Standard
A tree on the right side of a house in Rockridge came down just after 6 a.m. Monday morning, falling across the doorway. | Heather Grossmann/The Standard

“The region will receive more wind and rain tonight,” the San Mateo-Santa Cruz unit of CalFire tweeted Sunday. “The ground is saturated, and the trees are stressed. Please stay off the roads until the inclement weather has passed.”

7 a.m. | Flood Advisories Remain in Effect

The flood advisories for Bay Area counties remain in effect until 10 a.m. Monday as heavy rain continues through the morning, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

A high wind warning was also issued and will be active through 10 a.m.

The rains are expected to lighten by 11 a.m., with a reprieve from the severe weather until late Monday evening, when the next storm is set to arrive.

6 a.m. | Slow Commutes

BART reported that trains were running at slower speeds because of the storm and advised riders to add 20 minutes to their commute plans. You can check real-time departures here.

5:45 a.m. | State of Emergency

Late Sunday evening, President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency in California to assist storm response efforts, as requested by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The declaration will enable federal aid to supplement the state and local resources going toward managing the emergency conditions resulting from the severe weather.

The declaration authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management to coordinate disaster relief efforts.

“We expect to see the worst of it in front of us still,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Sunday. “Don’t test fate. Half a foot of water, and you’re losing control of your car. Just a foot of water, and your car’s floating.”

While storms are expected to continue for several more days, those hitting Monday and Tuesday will “pack a punch,” the National Weather Service tweeted

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The Standard Staff can be reached at [email protected]


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