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Heavy rain hammers portions of the Bay Area; flash flooding hits San Francisco

Flash flooding hits San Francisco during torrential storm downpour
Flash flooding hits San Francisco during torrential storm downpour 04:50

Heavy rain was pounding pockets of the greater San Francisco Bay Area Tuesday, leading to localized flooding on a day where there was a 90 percent chance of rain throughout the whole day.

A wide band of heavier rainfall moved over the greater Bay Area at around 12:30 p.m., leading the weather service to issue alerts regarding possible hail and winds up to 50 mph.

KPIX First Alert Weather: Current conditions, alerts, maps for your area

A flash flood warning was issued for San Francisco shortly before 2 p.m. that will remain in effect until 4 p.m. due to the significant rain that has been falling over the city Tuesday afternoon. There were reports of flooding in Hayes Valley and Telegraph Hill as well as low-lying parts of the Mission District.

The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management advised residents to take shelter and avoid travel. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission asks anyone who sees flooding or clogged storm drains to contact 311 to report it.

Weather officials said San Francisco received more than an inch of rain in the two hours between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Intense rain falls over San Francisco and Peninsula, prompting flash flood warning 33:32

There was also flooding at the intersection of 23rd and Dolores where the waters rose so high, neighbors took to the streets to do something about it.

When Laura Lucchesi saw the heavy flooding from her work station inside her warm and dry home and knew what she had to do.

"It was all the way up to the garages for a while there," she said. "We have supplies in the garage, we know this happens every so often. If no one does it, the whole intersection is going to continue to flood. So someone's gotta do it." 

This time, that someone was her. So with galoshes on and rake in had, she went to work

"it will usually like once a year it gets a little flooded," she said. "I don't love it. It's not just me who does it. Everyone in the neighborhood kind of helps out."

She wasn't alone for long. Neighbor Janice Elzinga came out to lend a hand.

"I saw her out here doing this, and I saw the cars with no regard coming by and splashing her, so I came over to help," Elzinga said.

Before long, the grates were clear and the water level quickly lowered.

"We made a big difference," said Lucchesi.

A Wind Advisory is in effect for the Bay Area and Central Coast until 4 p.m. Tuesday. Through Wednesday morning, a Flood Watch is also issued for the following areas:

- Interior Monterey County including Pinnacles National Park
- Southern Monterey Bay
- Big Sur Coast
- Southern Salinas Valley
- Coastal North Bay including Point Reyes National Seashore
- East Bay Hills
- East Bay Interior Valleys
- Eastern Santa Clara Hills
- Marin Coastal Range
- North Bay Interior Mountains
- North Bay Interior Valleys
- Northern Monterey Bay
- San Francisco
- San Francisco Bay Shoreline
- San Francisco Peninsula Coast
- Santa Clara Valley including San Jose
- Santa Cruz Mountains
- Sonoma Coastal Range.

The Sonoma County Fire District posted about the rescue of a driver after their car got stuck in a flooded roadway near Forestville Tuesday morning. The driver was uninjured but required assistance from first responders to get on dry land.

According to the NWS, drier conditions will return for mid to late week, with rain returning for the weekend, which appears to be beneficial and not concerning. 

Daytime highs were expected to reach the upper 50s to 60s around the bay, and in the 60s on the coast and inland. Overnight lows are expected to be mostly in the upper 40s, with some areas around the bay dropping into the lower 50s.

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