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Historic rainfall soaks San Francisco; 2nd wettest day since Gold Rush

Video Roundup: Fierce storm drenches Bay Area
Video Roundup: Fierce storm drenches Bay Area 08:09

SAN FRANCISCO -- The forecast proved to be prophetic. A Cat. 4 atmospheric river would bring copious amounts of rain to the San Francisco Bay Area. But no one was really ready for just how much would fall.

By the time the storm ended, San Francisco would receive 5.46 inches of rain over a 24-hour period. 

"This makes it the second wettest day in the 170+ years of records at that site, just 0.08" less than 1st place (11/5/1994) with 5.54," the National Weather Service said. "This rainfall also made up 46.8% of San Francisco's December rainfall."  

The result was a day of neighborhood flooding and and landslides.

In the Marina District, city workers shut down Marina Boulevard due to flooding. Some garages and homes on the street were under water.

"I've got some big feet, (the water) wasn't quite coming to my ankles but it was at least two inches of water inside the house," said Jax Case, who was working to clean up the first floor of a house.

Water also pushed in to Kendrick Ma's garage. He worried his beloved Lamborghini Gallardo sports car could be ruined.

"We were pretty worried. We all came out with brooms, shoving all the water out of the garage," Ma said.

Highway 101 -- a major freeway connecting San Francisco to the Peninsula -- was completely shutdown by flooding for much of the day.

Flash flood and landslides in San Francisco Bay Area
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 31: An aerial view of flooding on Highway 101 and traffic backed up as a heavy rainstorm hits the West Coast on December 31, 2022 in San Francisco, California. Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
California Storms
Traffic drives through flooded lanes on Highway 101 in South San Francisco, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022. A flood watch is in effect across much of Northern California through New Year's Eve. Officials warned that rivers and streams could overflow and urged residents to get sandbags ready. Jeff Chiu / AP

And more is on the way.

"We are in for an extended wet pattern where these saturated soils won't have time to really dry out," the weather service said. "The only break we get from rain will happen on Jan 1, but then more rain occur Jan 2-5 with a third moderate atmospheric river moving into our region around Jan 4-5."

"At this time, the rain totals look to be similar or a little higher than what we saw on Dec 26-27 and what we saw Saturday. Expect several more inches. After Jan 5, it seems light to moderate rain could persist into the second week of January. If that's the case, then residents across the Bay Area and Central CA need to be aware that additional flooding and shallow mudslides could occur."

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