Some parts of the greater Bay Area received more than a foot of rain in an atmospheric river storm system that came through the region in the past two days, National Weather Service officials said Friday. (Oakland received around 2 inches of rain from the storm that passed through.)
The heaviest rainfall came through late Thursday into early Friday and caused flooding that shut down major highways, including Interstate Highway 580 in Oakland, U.S. Highway 101 in the South Bay and state Highway 84, also known as Niles Canyon Road, between Fremont and Sunol.
Monterey County had the most rainfall in the region, with more than a foot reported at the coastal Anderson Peak in Big Sur. The county Sheriff’s Office issued evacuation orders for communities including Carmel Valley, Arroyo Seco and Pajaro, while many other areas had evacuation warnings.
Parts of Santa Clara County received more than 10 inches of rain, while higher elevations in the North Bay received more than half a foot, according to the weather service.
Brayden Murdock, a meteorologist with the weather service, said Friday that “what we saw last night into this morning will probably be the highest rainfall rates” for the immediate future, but that scattered showers will continue over the weekend, followed by a “more prolonged rain event” Monday through Wednesday.
The heavy rain comes after previous atmospheric river storms that drenched the region in late December and January. This week’s storms prompted Gov. Gavin Newsom to request a Presidential Emergency Declaration to authorize federal assistance to support the state and local response.
President Joe Biden on Friday approved the declaration, which is in effect for 34 counties around the state, including Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Sonoma.
Newsom thanked Biden for “swift action to provide more resources and assistance to Californians reeling from back-to-back storms.”
The governor said, “We also thank all the heroic first responders working tirelessly to save lives in these dangerous and challenging conditions. California will continue to work day and night with local, state and federal partners to protect and support our communities.”