flooding california
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An aerial shot of submerged homes in Manteca, San Joaquin County March 21, 2023
A 'bomb cyclone' slammed into San Francisco Tuesday evening in the latest severe storm to hit the West Coast, devastating the region with hurricane-force winds and torrential rainfall.

The weather front is the latest major storm to hit the region this year, where it unleashed flash floods and blistering wind gusts throughout the Golden State.

At least one person died after the gusts - which reached upwards of 78mph - caused a tree to fall near Portolla Valley. Meanwhile, more than 230,000 residents across California had their power wiped out in the storm.

Glass from a San Francisco high rise reportedly plummeted to the ground after the storm swept in late afternoon, however no injuries were reported from the incident.

Evacuation orders were issued Tuesday evening in Santa Cruz County as torrential rains battered the coastal region, just weeks after rapid floodwaters caused havoc in Los Angeles.

Two people were critically wounded in San Francisco after they were struck by a falling tree, which came as at least one person was killed in a similar incident in San Mateo County.

Detailing the fatal incident, California Highway patrol officer David LaRock told Weather.com: 'Due to high winds, a large tree fell on the vehicle as it was traveling eastbound. When emergency crews arrived they had to clear several large branches to get to the vehicle.'

Shocking weather images showed a sharp twist in the storm's trajectory as it made landfall, indicating the potent winds that drove it to the coastline.

Meteorologist Drew Tuma of ABC7 tweeted that he witnessed the winds drop 'from 60mph to dead calm in an instant' after he found himself in the eye of the storm.

Flights out of San Francisco International Airport were temporarily grounded amid the storms, with roughly 300 flights delayed and over 20 cancelled.

Other nearby airports including Oakland and San Jose Mineta International Airports also reported some weather-related disruptions.

Footage from the area shows numerous cars damaged by fallen trees and rising floodwaters sweeping through streets.

Fast moving waters in Oakland, which saw substantial destruction in recent weeks after an overflowed levee washed out the region, also caused a section of a dock to break loose and drift away with numerous boats.

And in the Mission Bay region, an industrial barge was dislodged and smashed into a bridge, leading authorities to urge residents to avoid the area.
bomb cylone san francisco downed tree
© Twitter/stafann42
Severe winds have led to numerous downed trees in the San Francisco area, killing at least one person and injuring two others March 20, 2023
Travel chaos has also hit the roads across southern California, and motorists are trapped after downed power lines hit Woodside.

Residents are being asked to shelter in place due to many of the wires remaining live, and local authorities have said it is unclear when PG&E will recover the broken lines.

Severe winds cancelled all ferry services on Tuesday afternoon in the Bay area, with officials noting the disruption was due to 'ocean-like waves'.

In San Joaquin County, around two hours south of San Francisco, shocking images have shown deep floodwaters completely submerging streets.

The region was already hit with an evacuation order after residents were inundated with the rising waters.

San Francisco Fire Department representatives have advised the public to take extra precautions as the storm continues to batter the city.

'There's lots of street closures right now throughout San Francisco, just due to wires down, trees down, flooded areas,' SFFD spokesperson Jonathan Baxter told SFGATE.

'Be aware of the severe storm heading through San Francisco'. Baxter added.

'If you don't have to be out, consider other options. If you are going to be out, expect delays throughout your travels.'

A winter storm warning has been placed throughout Wednesday morning for the Greater Lake Tahoe area, where winds could gust up to 75mph.

The destruction comes just weeks after a devastating storm dubbed 'Pineapple Express' brought significant damage to the West Coast. Catastrophic floods washed out the state as the storm, which was the third major landfall of the year, placed over 20 counties under a state of emergency.

Roughly 17 million people in parts of California and Nevada were under flood watches, and the torrential rains saw upwards of an inch fall every hour at some points.

More than a dozen people died and many more were left stranded in the San Bernardino mountain range as historic amounts of snow hit the Golden State.

Monterey County was the among worst-hit areas in the state as it was pummeled with as much as 13 inches of rain when the storm hit earlier this month. Rain topped the 10-inch mark in several other regions, including Santa Cruz County, where a creek bloated by rain destroyed a portion of Main Street in Soquel - a town of 10,000 people - isolating several neighborhoods.