High Winds Sweep the Bay Area, Two Killed

Categories: Weather

Kansas, Oakland ... same difference.
As expected high winds forced their way into the Bay Area last night, troubling much more than your hair -- it knocked down powerlines and trees, started fires, and, sadly, killed two people in Oakland.

Last night, gusts reaches up to 55 mph in parts of the Bay, leaving more than 27,000 people without power this morning; In the evening, some 50,000 people were without power. What's worse, a person was killed in Oakland when a powerline came down on Austin Street near Fruitvale Avenue, and another person died after a tree fell on their car on the 13000 block of Skyline Boulevard at about 8:36 p.m., according to press reports.

Along Highway 238 (which is already a commuter's worst nightmare) a fallen tree reportedly blocked all northbound lanes last night -- and several cars hit the tree before the CHP could get there to close down the lanes. More trees fell along Highway 101 in Petaluma and Fruitvale Avenue in Oakland. Even BART was running behind last night because of the crazy winds.

And this wind isn't letting up. Expect to fight the gales today with winds reaching 35 mph and 45 mph in the valleys; in elevations above 900 feet, gusts could reach 69 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

So hold onto your wheels (not your iPhone) while crossing the bridges; The California Highway Patrol has issued wind advisories for the San Mateo, Benicia, Carquinez and Bay bridges. Also, watch out for fallen trees and debris along Highway 580 and Highway 24, KTVU reports.

We'd advise you to take BART to avoid the tempest, but obviously things aren't running any smoother over there after trains were shut down for seven hours this morning. Yeah, it's just going to be one of those days.

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