By Heather Knight and Sam Mondros
The worst of the storm appeared to be over Sunday night in the San Francisco Bay Area, after rain drenched the region and wind toppled trees throughout the day.
But residents will be dealing with the effects for days to come. More than 300,000 Bay Area households lacked power Sunday night, some roads remained closed, and there were reports of homes and vehicles that were damaged.
While communities in Northern California had been concerned about flooding before the storm hit, the fierce winds ended up causing more problems.
Towering trees fell onto highways and blocked traffic. Ferries on the San Francisco Bay were called back to shore. An outdoor dining structure 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 mph on mountain tops and took down 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 roadway as her Jeep Wrangler swayed on a narrow road more than 200 feet above the Pacific Ocean.
“It was pretty scary up there,” she yelled over the wind and sideways rain.
On a cattle ranch just east of the lighthouse, William Nunes, 27, watched as the wind ripped a calf hutch from the ground and sent it flying into the air and over a hill.
Next went the roof to his cattle barn. Several sheets of metal as long as two cars were torn off and landed beside dozens of wet cows. The metal sheets shook violently, with the wind threatening to send them flying again, until two ranch workers secured them to the manure-covered ground while Nunes poured gravel on top to weigh them down.
In San Francisco, one of the most dramatic scenes of the storm unfolded at 18th and Market streets, a half-mile west of the Castro District. A giant pine on a city-owned hill fell in the middle of the morning, causing a small landslide that sent dirt and tree limbs tumbling into the road.
Officials closed that part of Market Street, a major thoroughfare, as 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 and traffic control officers surveying the scene, said that the city simply did not have enough arborists to maintain its urban forest.
Elsewhere in the city, tree limbs and entire trees fell, including onto a car parked near Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, and across a road near Twin Peaks. The Department of Emergency Management warned people to “avoid walking in parks and other terrain with trees.” There were no reports of injuries from falling trees.
It also was high winds, more than the rain, that prompted the last-minute cancellation of the San Francisco Half Marathon on Sunday morning, bringing disappointment to some runners and relief to others.
It wasn’t all grim. By midafternoon, in a sunny respite between storms, a huge rainbow appeared over the city.