Northern CA Storms the Real Thing

It’s not nice to tease Mother Nature. A few days ago I posted a snide remark in PHOTO Notes about “drizzle which makes the ground look wet, yet mysteriously does not wash the cars.”

Well, worry about dirty cars no longer. High winds and torrential rains hit the Bay Area last night and all this morning, shutting down all of Marin County, the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge in both directions, Highway 101 in both directions, and parts of other surface streets and major thoroughfares. Wind damage has been extensive. Over a third of a million customers are without electrical power at this time, and PG&E may not be able to restore power until late this weekend due to the dangers of working in high winds.

I had to drive into Berkeley around sunrise this morning. I made it there and back safely, but I got drenched (despite my umbrella and down jacket) before feeding the parking meter and making my appointment there. You can tell when I’m concerned about driving conditions, because even I stay at or below posted speed limits.

Will I make my flight to Phoenix this weekend? The flight seems to be on schedule, the San Mateo Bridge seems to be open (I’m writing this from home in the East Bay), and SFO departure delays have dropped from four to zero hours. I won’t know what time I’ll arrive at PHX Sky Harbor International, if at all, until we touch down.

I take back all those smart-alec things I write about Northern California Weather. Just give me back my drizzle.

1:20PM Update: Flight canceled. the phone rang; a US Airways recording advised that my flight has been canceled. I called them and canceled the return leg as well. They didn’t want to do that. I know from the news that there are already hundreds of stranded SFO passengers. From past experience, they will be using my A319 to ferry other passengers who are already stuck at SFO – when the storm abates. It will be a zoo there all weekend. I politely declined their offer to book me on a “later flight” (it turned out to be a Saturday flight – no good for a weekend turnaround). Jot down in your little notebook: the magic words are “my travel plans are not flexible”.

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