Bay Area Storm Update: Another Very Wet Storm, Another Round of Flooding and Travel Woes

Update, 2:30 p.m.: Is it a long winter yet? The Bay Area's latest dose of copious precipitation late Monday and early Tuesday caused flooding over a wide area and travel problems throughout the region.

In the 24 hours ending at 1 p.m. Tuesday, the storm dropped more than 7 inches of rain over the wettest parts of northern Sonoma County, more than 6 inches on parts of Marin County and the Santa Cruz Mountains, and 5 to 6 inches in the hills of Napa and Lake counties.

The storm moved on to the southeast, dousing the San Joaquin Valley and southern Sierra foothills. Heavy rain farther north prompted the National Weather Service to post flood warnings for the entire Central Valley from Modesto up to Redding.

Closer to home, the Napa River crested above flood stage at St. Helena, flooding roads and fields, and was expected to peak in the city of Napa late Tuesday afternoon.

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What's to come? Weather models show occasional rain on and off from Tuesday afternoon through early Thursday, with the highest amounts of rain -- as much as an inch -- over the North Bay hills and half an inch or less over much of the rest of the area.

The next storm is forecast to plow through the region before dawn Thursday, dropping 2 inches or so over the North Bay hills, 1 to 2 inches over the rest of Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties, the East Bay hills and the Santa Cruz Mountains, and about an inch along the immediate shore of San Francisco Bay. Showers are forecast to continue Friday before clearing weather on Saturday and into the beginning of next week.

Here are some resources for keeping up with the current weather and travel information:

Here's a roundup of regional news reports and other coverage of Tuesday's storm:


Update, 9:15 a.m.: Amid hundreds of road and traffic problems reported around the Bay Area, flooding on Marin County's Sir Francis Drake Boulevard is one of the major trouble spots.

The Marin County Sheriff's Office reports the street is flooded in the town of Greenbrae, blocking access to the Bon Air shopping center and forcing drivers to use detours to get to Marin General Hospital.

The sheriff's office also reported a flooded parking lot at the College of Marin that left some students stranded. The overnight downpours and associated flooding also prompted the Kentfield School District, Ross School District, Tam Union and Sausalito/Marin City schools to close for the day.

Original post: Residents of the flood-prone towns of south-central Marin County -- we're talking about Fairfax, San Anselmo and Ross -- woke up to rapidly rising waters on local creeks Tuesday morning after a night of relentless downpours.

Warning sirens sounded in Fairfax at 7 a.m., and residents of low-lying areas were warned to get to higher ground.

A webcam stationed at the Fairfax town hall and police station, a structure partially built across Town Hall Creek, showed rushing water almost high enough to enter the building.


Stream gauges on Fairfax Creek, San Anselmo Creek, Sleepy Hollow Creek and Corte Madera Creek showed water rising to or over flood level.

The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings covering the south-central Marin area through 11:15 a.m. The NWS warned that flooding can be expected in San Rafael, Mill Valley, San Anselmo, Larkspur, Corte Madera, Tiburon, Fairfax, Kentfield, Tamalpais-Homestead Valley, Ross, Woodacre and other communities.

The weather service also issued a flash flood warning covering most of the Napa Valley (through 1:15 p.m.). Flooding was forecast in parts of the valley from Calistoga all the way down to the city of Napa.

The Napa River rose above flood stage near St. Helena about 5 a.m. Tuesday. The California-Nevada River Forecast Center says the river should crest there sometime later Tuesday morning.

The river is also expected to just touch flood stage in the city of Napa late Tuesday afternoon.

In Sonoma County, the Russian River is expected to crest just below flood level at Guerneville -- an area hit by widespread flooding during storms last month.

If there is some good news for the North Bay amid the swampy conditions, it's the fact that the heaviest rain has moved to the south. Some rain totals from Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties for the 12 hours ending at 8 a.m.:

Marin
Kentfield: 5.36 inches
Mount Tamalpais: 4.46 inches
San Rafael: 2.11 inches
Point Reyes Station: 1.70 inches

Sonoma
Venado: 6.20 inches
Santa Rosa: 2.40 inches
Petaluma-D Street: .99 inches

Napa
Mount Veeder: 4.81 inches
Angwin: 3.67 inches
Calistoga: 3.16 inches
Yountville: 2.84 inches
Napa (Lincoln Street): 2.28 inches