NOTE: This story was updated at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 and again at 7:30 p.m.
An estimated 276 customers were still without electricity in four
areas of Sonoma County late this afternoon, a PG&E spokeswoman said.
Sebastopol area residents experienced three separate outages at
5:15 a.m., 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., PG&E spokeswoman Brittany McKannay said.
A total of 1,035 customers lost power in the Sexton and Tilton roads areas and on Bodega Highway, and 130 customers were still without power at 5 p.m., McKannay said.
The outages are weather related, and PG&E crews are working late
this afternoon in the Spring Hill School Road area near state Highway 12.
Power for 270 customers went out in the Fourth Street area of
downtown Santa Rosa around noon because of an underground equipment failure, McKannay said.
Power was restored at 3 p.m. to 150 customers and 120 customers are still out, McKannay said.
Power to 2,400 customers in the Mill Creek Road area of Healdsburg
was out between 2 p.m. and 2:50 p.m., McKannay said.
In Petaluma, power went out at 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., affecting 200
customers, McKannay said. Twenty-six customers were still without power at 5
PG&E attempts to reroute power to some of the affected areas as soon as possible, but it takes longer to restore power when power lines and
poles fall, McKannay said.
Authorities in the North Bay are reassuring residents that, despite the stormy weather and heavy rainfall, there is little chance of local streams and rivers flooding in the immediate future.
Emergency officials in San Anselmo, Santa Rosa and Napa said no major flooding is anticipated in those cities today.
"We are expecting at least two storms that will bring 4-10 inches of rain with localized flooding," said Ed Buonaccorsi, emergency preparedness coordinator for the Santa Rosa Fire Department.
"The current storm will pass through today with a second storm starting tomorrow evening with heavier rain," he said. "At this time, there is no prediction for the Russian River to hit "monitor" or "flood" stage."
The Russian River is considered to be at flood stage at the Guerneville Bridge when the water level reaches 32 feet. As of 8 a.m., the water level was only 5.5 feet and was expected to rise only slightly by Thursday morning, according to the California Department of Water Resources.
Officer Jon Sloat of the California Highway Patrol in Santa Rosa posted the following update at about 4 p.m. Wednesday:
"Since the rain began at approximately 6 a.m. this morning, the Santa Rosa Area CHP has responded to 16 vehicle collisions throughout Sonoma County," Sloat said. This is more than double the average.
"No major injuries were reported," Sloat said. "The majority of the collisions were caused by unsafe speed for the wet roadway conditions."
Sloat said there have been no reports of significant flooding.
In flood-prone San Anselmo, Keith Angerman, a building official with the town's Public Works Department, said the San Anselmo Creek was 10 feet below flood stage as of 10:45 a.m.
"We would have to have rain for several more days to reach flood
level," Angerman said.
San Anselmo officials said sandbags and sand are available in a
parking lot on Sunny Hills Drive near the tennis courts. Residents should
bring their own shovels.
Information on creek levels is available at townofsananselmo.org.
Napa's community outreach coordinator Barry Martin said up to 6 inches of rain is expected in lower elevations and 10-15 inches in higher elevations in the North Bay over the next five days.
"Area creeks, the Napa River and reservoirs are far below the monitor stage and there is no cause for concern at this time," Martin said.
The Napa River is forecast to peak at 13.4 feet around 4 p.m. Friday -- more than 8 feet below the monitor stage of 22 feet, Martin said.
There are no self-service sandbag operations under way today, but a regularly scheduled self-service sandbag pickup will be offered on Saturday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Corporation Yard at 770 Jackson St. in Napa,
Additional free sand and sandbags will be available in the event of flooding, and residents should bring a shovel and gloves to fill and transport their own bags, Martin said.
Residents can report urgent problems with storm drains, trees and other concerns at cityofnapa.org and click on the "Service Center" link or call (707) 257-9223, Martin said.
Rainfall, river and creek data are also available on the Quick Links menu at www.cityofnapa.org.
Santa Rosa and Sonoma County residents can get weather and flood updates on local radio stations KSRO, KZST and KBBF.
An unusually heavy rain storm began to move through the area Wednesday morning, slowing commuters on their way to school and work, causing traffic accidents, and creating power outages in some parts of the Bay Area.
Parts of Union City and San Francisco were without power. Inbound flights to San Francisco International Airport were delayed by as many as three and a half hours, duty manager Nancie Parker said.
According to the National Weather Service, a high wind warning is in effect until 11 a.m. Thunderstorms and rain can be expected this morning.
Southeast winds are likely to be between 30 and 45 mph with gusts around 60 mph.
By this evening, mostly cloudy skies and showers are expected. Rain and heavy winds are again likely Thursday.
-Bay City News contributed to this report.