Clearing skies follow messy storm

  • It remained cloudy as a bicyclist with a fishing rod made his way around Spring Lake, Oct. 14, 2009.

It wasn't nearly as bad as the winter storm in early 2008, which knocked out power to 2 million PG&E customers across the state. Even so, for a one-day storm, the damage was significant.

Statewide, 738,000 customers were affected by the windy downpour that extended into Tuesday. Of these customers, 94 percent, or 685,000, have had their power restored.

PG&E spokesman J.D. Guidi, who in January 2008 was the person fielding media calls during days of extreme weather, said this storm wasn't as bad, though "we did have a lot of equipment damage." He said the hardest hit areas were the central valley and central coast near Monterey.

In all, PG&E has replaced 161 poles, 119.4 miles of wire, 235 transformers and 403 crossarms.

In Sonoma County, only 17 people were still without electricity as of Wednesday evening.

The brunt of the storm that hit the North Bay late Monday and made a mess of the commute, roads, roofs and trees on Tuesday has passed, left light showers and moderate temperatures in its wake.

Just a trace of rainfall on Wednesday, .04 inches, brought the total amount of rain logged in Santa Rosa from the storm to 2.78 inches. The small community of Venado, a few miles east of Healdsburg, received 5.68 inches.

"What was a blanket of rain and high winds have now switched off to showers and winds 10 to 15 miles per hour," said meteorologist Diane Henderson of the National Weather Service in Monterey said Wednesday. Chances of rain today will be 10 to 20 percent, she said.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, the storm was an 8," Henderson said. "There were good sized winds, a lot of people lost their power, the CHP logs were overtaxed with reports coming in. With people being inconvenienced, it was a 9 or a 10."

Temperatures today will be in the low 70s with winds about 5 mile per hour or less. The next chance of rain is Sunday or Monday, when a storm approaches the coast from the northwest.

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