Calif. drenched as "supersoaker" storms continue
A Santa Rosa Junior College police officer puts out cones for motorists to avoid flooding on Pacific Avenue in Santa Rosa Calif., Nov. 28, 2012. Several Pacific storms are forecast to drop more than a foot of rain in some sections of Northern California through Sunday. / AP Photo/The Press Democrat, Kent Porter
SAN FRANCISCO The second in a series of storms was hitting the Bay Area and Northern California, with heavy rain and wind knocking out power to thousands Friday morning and causing localized flooding.
Some coastal areas of the region were under a flash flood watch early Friday morning, with Sonoma County in the San Francisco Bay area under a more severe flash flood warning until about noon.
A power outage also affected the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, where the suspension span was briefly in the dark. Full or partial power outages also affected the Richmond-San Rafael bridge, and the San Mateo bridge, according to Caltrans.
As of 9 a.m. PT, more than 5,000 PG&E customers remained without power in the Bay Area.
CBS Station KPIX reports one person was killed in a storm-related accident near Sacramento; a Pacific Gas & Electric worker died when his truck crashed into a traffic signal pole during the storm.
It's not a single storm hitting California but a one-two-three punch. The first storm came Wednesday, the second is hitting Friday. And forecasters say another storm is expected late Saturday night into Sunday, creating the possibility of rock and mud slides in areas that are already saturated and have been affected by wildfires.
"Friday is going to be bad; Sunday is going to be even worse," meteorologist Laura Skirde told "CBS This Morning."
Increasing the danger is a phenomenon called an atmospheric river, a narrow band of moisture that can stretch for thousands of miles. In this case the "river" is feeding additional rainfall to the storms, making them even stronger as they hit the coast.
When all is said and done, parts of California could get up to 15 inches of rain.
"Yeah, rain this time of year is common," said Skirde. "it's beneficial. We need it. We just don't need it all at once."
Some San Franciscans spent the day sandbagging, while PG&E workers trimmed trees as the storm approached.
Some localized flooding, slides and downed trees caused havoc with the Friday morning commute. State Highway 84 in Woodside was temporarily blocked around 7 a.m. after a tree fell across the roadway, San Mateo County sheriff's officials told KPIX.
Flooding also shut down state Highway 12 south of Sonoma Friday morning, a California Highway Patrol officer said. At least one car got stuck in the rising water, according to the officer.
Near Fremont, a mudslide shut down state Highway 84 just east of the city, the CHP said.
In Pleasanton, a big rig overturned and spilled oil and diesel fuel onto the pavement on westbound Interstate 580, shutting down all lanes just before 2 a.m., police said. The highway was reopened by about 6 a.m.
In Oregon, heavy rain is being forecast to push the Coquille River to flood stage, threatening to send other creeks and small rivers over their banks in Douglas and Coos counties, the National Weather Service said.
The flood watch for central Douglas County and the south central Oregon Coast went into effect Thursday and remains in effect through Friday, CBS Affiliate KCBY reports.
"A strong slow moving storm will bring moderate to heavy rain to the region today into Friday. Flooding of creeks and small rivers is possible," forecasters said. "In addition, debris flows are possible across the steeper mountain terrain, and street flooding may impact city areas. More storms will bring additional rainfall later Friday through Sunday."
Forecasters predict the Coquille River will pass flood stage at Coquille and Myrtle Point on Friday night.
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