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Atmospheric River: High Winds Topple Trees, Scaffolding in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- The heavy precipitation and increased winds slamming into San Francisco Sunday afternoon are causing plenty of problems with downed trees, scaffolding that came crashing down and some flooding.

One tree actually prompted the evacuation of a few residences.

The San Francisco Fire Department evacuated several homes along Ninth Avenue in San Francisco over concerns that a teetering 100-foot tree might topple on the houses nearby.

"It's putting some houses in jeopardy because it could fall on the houses. It's one of dozens of trees to come down," said Rachel Gordon With San Francisco Public Works

The plan was to cut down the tree as soon as Public Works crews could get equipment in place.

Strong winds knocked over a scaffolding in the SoMa district. The metal scaffolding came crashing down at a building near Natoma and 9th street Sunday.

Some minor damage was done to the building from the falling scaffolding. Crews were continuing to clean up the damage from the collapse into Sunday evening.

No one was hurt in the incident, according to SFFD officials.

A huge tree uprooted and came crashing down on an occupied vehicle in the Presidio.

The accident happened at around 1:54 p.m., when San Francisco Fire Department crews responded to the intersection of Lombard and Presidio. Luckily, nobody inside the car was hurt.

San Francisco Fire and Public Works crews were responding to a seemingly never ending series of calls reporting broken tree limbs and toppled trees.

"We have trees threatening homes. We trees blocking roadways. We have wires down. This was something we were expecting with this storm," said Gordon.

When the outer edge of the storm arrived in San Francisco, it walloped the city with gusting winds and heavy rain.

The root systems of trees weakened by nearly two years of drought we're no match.

"I think that we just need to live with the consequences of rain, too," said San Francisco resident Kendall Boutte. The fact that we've had a deficit for so long, I think that we need to live with the idea that there are consequences to having adequate rain too."

San Francisco Fire also reported flooding in the area of 31st Avenue and California, posting video that showed people trying to clear water from the flooded intersection.

As of around 6:15 p.m., debris had been cleared from the drain grates and the water had receded, according to fire officials.

San Francisco police came to the aid of drivers of two vehicles that got stuck on a freeway off ramp San Jose Avenue and Monterey Boulevard. That off ramp is currently closed.

The SFMTA tweeted early Sunday evening that flooding at Van Ness station  forced its closure. It reopened shortly before 7 p.m.

But despite the rain and damage, many say they would gladly weather the disruptions of the storm if it brings us closer to finally ending the drought.

"Yes, there will be a few things like power outages and trees falling down, which I know is unfortunate. But I have faith the city will clean that up quickly," said Daniel Morgan of San Francisco.

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