Storm causes flood warnings and transportation delays


During a strong storm, a branch fell from a tree in front of the College of Ethnic Studies at SF State on Thursday, Dec 15, 2016. Photo by: Aaron Levy-Wolins

Relentless rainfall and strong wind caused flood warnings and public transportation delays across San Francisco on Thursday.

A flood advisory was issued by the National Weather Service for San Francisco and the North Bay on Thursday afternoon. The rain was felt hardest along Embarcadero on Pier 3 and 14, where it collided with king tides and resulted in flooding. The storm, which hit the city hardest around 3 p.m., brought 2 inches of rain and wind between 20 mph and 30 mph, with occasional gusts reaching 40 mph.

The system was felt throughout much of Northern California – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association reported a 24-hour precipitation total exceeding 7 inches in the Sonoma County town of Venado by early evening. Flash flood warnings are in effect until early Friday morning when rain is expected to clear up as the rain travels south.

At SF State the storm caused a branch to fall from a tree in front of the College of Ethnic Studies. Across the city traffic has been slow and BART service was delayed by 10 minutes during the height of the downpour. Flights arriving at SFO experienced an average 4-hour delay and 86 flights were ultimately cancelled, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Coastal areas are especially affected by the storm due to high tides. Conditions for surf and swimming are dangerous and visitors are recommended to stay away from narrow beaches and coves until conditions improve.