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Update: Wind gusts rip through San Francisco Bay Area; 1-year-old critical after tree hits Boulder Creek home

High winds from storm wreak havoc across Bay Area
High winds from storm wreak havoc across Bay Area 09:35

REDWOOD CTY -- Howling winds roared into Bay Area Tuesday afternoon, toppling trees -- including one that left a young Boulder Creek boy in critical condition -- and triggering power outages for tens of thousands across the region.

According to KION, a 1-year-old boy was left in critical condition after part of a redwood tree fell into a family's Boulder Creek home early Tuesday evening.

Boulder Creek Fire Chief Mark Bingham confirmed to KPIX that crews responded to reports of the incident around 6:25 p.m. at 110 Bobcat Lane.

Arriving firefighters saw the top of a giant redwood tree had snapped off and slammed through the roof of the home, leaving the young boy pinned to the floor in the living room. 

The department conducted a two-pronged approach with crew members inside trying to stabilize the ceiling and the crew outside trying to get the pressure off the tree. Firefighters also used the jaws of life to help free the boy.

Fire Chief Bingham said it was a traumatic scene for both the family and the rescue crews. Five other residents in addition to the boy along with two dogs were evacuated from the damaged home, officials said.

The boy was initially taken to Dominican Hospital. He has since been moved to Valley Medical Center in San Jose.

The high winds wreaked havoc across the region starting early Tuesday afternoon.

In Sonoma County, a falling redwood tree split a home in half. The house that was struck is in the Camp Meeker neighborhood.

A neighbor said the family was inside the home and the tree just missed them as they were cooking dinner.

"I was driving by and the tree fell and a branch broke and hit the car. It was scary," he said.

A giant tree from the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno fell onto Sneath Lane early Tuesday evening.

The major road was closed off in both directions between El Camino Real and Cherry Avenue while crews try to deal with it.

Crews have been working on removing the tree for several hours. Thankfully it did not crash into any buildings, but it did force drivers to find other ways to get home.

One neighbor says he has seen trees leaning all day in this area

"It's a little concerning. There are a lot of big trees around this neighborhood," said Miguel Andrade-Lopez. "And just the fact that massive tree could fall down made me realize that maybe I should get home insurance and probably be on the lookout of massive trees around my home." 

Shortly before 3:30 p.m., CHP confirmed that a fallen tree had closed westbound lanes of the Bay Bridge just east of Treasure Island. The right and center lanes were blocked as westbound traffic stacked up.

CHP confirmed that San Francisco Fire and Caltrans personnel were assisting in clearing the debris. So far, there was no word of any injuries related to the falling tree, but one vehicle was reportedly damaged.

As of 4:15 p.m., CHP said the right lane still remained blocked. CHP said shortly before 5 p.m. that the far right lane would likely remain closed for at least a couple more hours as they tried to clear what was left of the tree that was still obstructing the lane.

The far right lane reopened shortly before 8 p.m., according to CHP.

In Redwood City, a home near El Camino Real and Woodside Road sustained serious damage after a tree was blown over, knocking into a fence and the roof of the house. 

Authorities said the homeowner is OK, but it remains to be seen if the damage is significant enough for the home to be red tagged. A neighbor said that the tree -- which was about 50-60 feet tall -- ripped through the ceiling and crushed the support beams.

There were numerous downed trees across Redwood City. Some trees ended up on cars, other trees ended up on homes. Another tree came down across a portion of Woodside Road, blocking a lane of traffic.  

At round 4:45 p.m., San Mateo County Fire responded to 571 Hillcrest Way in Emerald Lake Hills after a roof was blown off a structure. The roof of the home was seen lying on top of a truck and in the middle of the roadway.  

Pacific Gas & Electric reported 12,357 customers on the Peninsula without power as of 1 p.m. By 9 p.m., the number had grown to over 60,000.  Trees were down on Jefferson Ave., Kingswood Dr., Woodside Rd., Clinton St. and Southgate Ave. in San Mateo County.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Fire Dept was reporting downed tree or branch issues at 24th St. and Potrero Ave., near Lawton and 7th, 1100 Russia and 2525 3rd St. A fallen tree took down a light post in downtown San Francisco near Drumm and Battery, bringing the both down on damaged a Corvette and damaging the car's roof.

As of 9 p.m., PG&E was reporting a total of over 109,000 customers without power, with 32,439 customers affected in the South Bay as well as 5,562 customers in the North Bay, 8,919 in the East Bay and 1,667 impacted in San Francisco. PG&E has an outage center providing information for customers on the utility's website.

A shelter-in-place order was issued in a Novato neighborhood after high winds knocked down multiple high-voltage power lines. Wilson Avenue remains blocked in both directions from Hansen Road to Doris Avenue.  

At approximately 1:27 p.m., Fremont police dispatch received a 9-1-1 call regarding a downed power line in the area of Walnut Avenue and Guardino Drive. Arriving officers located several downed trees in the area that had fallen onto power lines. 

Authorities said Walnut Avenue is closed between Overacker Avenue and Gallaudet Drive. The Walnut Avenue area and parts of Mowry Avenue from Mission Boulevard to the BART tracks are experiencing power outages.

PG&E crews are on scene. It is estimated it could take up to 24 hours before power is restored to the entire area. Police and Fire personnel are on the scene to provide assistance to city maintenance with the current road closures.  

The downed trees and power lines weren't the only in Fremont. A fallen tree created an emergency in two apartment complexes. 

At least five units were affected at 845 Mowry Ave. 

"As I turned into the complex, I noticed the trees were blowing like crazy and the tree to the right I saw it crashing down, falling," Rachel Campbell, one of the residents the complex said. The emergency prompted a clean up process that started around 3 p.m. and is expected to continue Wednesday.

Some of the highest gusts measured around the Bay Area include a 73 mph gust recorded at Ocean Beach in San Francisco, SFO recording a 68 mph, a gust of 51 mph gust at the Oakland International Airport and a gust of 55 mph in San Jose.

The high winds were also impacting ferry service across the region, with a number of ferry trips being canceled and, in the case of Golden Gate Ferry service between San Francisco and Tiburon, replaced by Golden Gate Transit buses.

The winds announced the arrival of a cold weather front that will send temperatures plunging, trigger rain showers and bring a dusting of snow to the Bay Area mountain tops.

Forecasters said the stormy weather will linger for days and the impact will include:

  • Strong winds arrive Tuesday impacting the area through Wednesday. A wind advisory went into effect at 1 p.m. warning of winds 25-35 mph with strong wind gusts expected. The strongest gusts over the higher terrain are forecast to be in excess of 55 mph.
  • Cold temperatures arrive Wednesday morning and will last through Sunday. Frost advisories and freeze watches have been issued for Thursday morning.
  • Rain showers arrive impacting coastal areas on Wednesday, becoming more widespread Thursday night into Friday.
  • A few thunderstorms are possible on Friday and Saturday with lightning, heavy rain, and small hail as the primary impacts.
  • Snow is expected at elevations above 1,500 feet, with the highest confidence over the Santa Lucia Range. A winter storm watch has been issued for the Higher elevations of the Central Coast.

"Wind, cold, rain, thunder, and snow, all over the span of four days," forecasters said. "Truly a dynamic system with all these hazards impacting the area for a prolonged period of time."

In a briefing issued shortly after 5 a.m. Tuesday, the weather service added a winter storm watch to the forecast beginning Thursday for the higher elevations of the coastal mountains south of San Francisco Bay.

 The Santa Clara and Diablo ranges in the South Bay could get between 8-12 inches of snow by Saturday, and the Santa Cruz Mountains could see 4-8 inches of the white stuff.

The revised forecast lowered the elevation that could see snow from 1,500 feet to 500 feet in most of the Bay Area on Thursday and Friday.

"The coldest morning low temperatures of the week will be feature Thursday, Friday and even Saturday morning," the National Weather Service warned. "Temperatures in the interior locations have over a 70 percent probability of dropping below freezing. While the ocean will help limit the drop in temperatures for coastal ranges, these areas will still have temperatures that range from 33 to 38 degrees."

NWS forecasters said the rain will come in waves.

"As this system will be a prolonged event, there will be periods of breaks in the rain," forecasters said. "Rain will likely be confined to the coastline Tuesday night through Thursday morning, then become more widespread as it moves inland. "

"Total rainfall between Tuesday to Saturday has been bumped up slightly. Interior valley areas are likely to get between 0.50 inches to an inch, with isolated areas receiving around 1.25 inches. Higher elevations are forecast to receive an inch to 1.50 inches."

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