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Wet winter storm batters Bay Area communities on Friday

Bay Area walloped by wild winter storm
Bay Area walloped by wild winter storm 01:45

SAN FRANCISCO -- A combination of heavy rain and powerful wind gusts caused quite a mess in the Bay Area on Friday.

Four people suffered minor injuries when a tree fell on their car in San Francisco's Fillmore District. The tree, estimated at 20 to 25 feet tall, toppled onto the vehicle on Golden Gate Avenue just west of Laguna Street about 5:15 p.m.

The fire department said all of them suffered minor injuries and were taken to a hospital.

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About a month ago a previous storm sent a eucalyptus crashing onto five cars in Golden Gate Park, putting 11 people in danger. Only two were injured.

The rain Friday was furiously falling in the East Bay, drenching a parking lot on Fourth Street in Berkeley and cars splashed through flooded streets.

In the North Bay, traffic slowed to a crawl as drivers tried to see through windshields pounded by rain while grasping their steering wheels to avoid drifting in the wind.

In the South Bay, a mudslide blocked Highway 9 between Sanborn Road near Saratoga.

On the coast, people were being warned to stay away from the crashing waves but that didn't stop one surfer from trying to ride a roller near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. reported power out to as many as 25,769 customers in Sonoma County on Friday night.

The blackout was the largest in California, at 14 percent of PG&E customers there, according to Bluefire Studios, a company that tracks outages.

The weather-related power loss, which began about 7:43 p.m. and was resolved at 9:34 p.m., affected primarily Rohnert Park and Santa Rosa, said J.D. Guidi, a spokesman for PG&E.

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