Category Archives: Weather

Berkeley residents complain about ‘horrible’ water taste

Pardee Reservoir. Photo: EBMUD
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The drinking water for 1 million customers of East Bay Municipal Utilities District had an “off” odor and taste over the weekend and, while EBMUD is fixing the issue, customers might have to get used to it.

The culprit? The drought.

EBMUD usually draws the drinking water for the majority of its customers from the bottom of Pardee Reservoir, about 100 miles east of Berkeley, according to Abby Figueroa, a spokeswoman for EBMUD. But on Thursday, the water district started taking water from the top portion of the reservoir. The water there is warmer and contains some algae, so even though it was treated before gushing into pipes in Berkeley, Oakland and elsewhere, there was a peculiar smell.

Read more about the California drought.

It takes about two days for the water to make its way to the Bay Area and when it arrived Saturday there was a flurry of emails and tweets to Berkeleyside about it. Figueroa said EBMUD has gotten about 200 emails, tweets, and phone calls about the taste as well.

Residents described the water as tasting like “raw meat,” or having a “metallic taste.” Others said it was “gross-smelling,” “horrible” or “weird.” … Continue reading »

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Photos: With some rain comes a rainbow over Berkeley

Rainbow at the Marina by Claudia Rice
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The sun peeked through the clouds early this morning creating a dramatic rainbow that appeared to plunge into the bay, perhaps leaving its treasure there?

At least four readers thought it was precious enough to photograph, and they shared their images with us before 8 a.m. (After this post was published, several more readers sent us their rainbow photos and we have added them to the collection.) … Continue reading »

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Winds may reach 55 mph in Berkeley this week

Gusty winds Monday and overnight through Tuesday morning call for a heightened alertness of fire danger, said BFD. Photo: Pete Rosos
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PG&E officials are warning that strong winds are expected to sweep Berkeley and other parts of the East Bay beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 30. They are expecting that some homes will lose power because of downed power lines.

The strong winds will accompany a cold front that has already begun to move into the Bay Area from British Columbia, according to PG&E’s East Bay Government Relations Team. The winds are scheduled to last until 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 31. Temperatures are set to drop into the 20s in some Bay Area locations. … Continue reading »

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Real weather in Berkeley – time to go storm chasing

Screen shot 2014-12-12 at 1.35.31 PM
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Jody Radzik is really into weather. Although a Berkeley resident now, he used to live in New Mexico where, as he puts it, “the weather is more interesting.”

Like a number of people living in “tornado alley” states, Radzik used to do a lot of storm chasing — tracking the weather on a radar while driving in the hope of seeing a tornado up close. He said he loved marveling at the drama of nature with other storm chasers. … Continue reading »

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Floods, outages keep Berkeley busy as storm hits

Flooding closed Ashby Avenue late Thursday afternoon. Authorities say it may be open by midnight. Photo: Jennifer Lazo
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Berkeley city workers handled more than 100 requests related to flooding, and more than 30 calls for tree-related issues, Thursday during a large storm that has been sweeping the Bay Area, authorities said.

City spokesman Matthai Chakko said the city had received 127 calls about flooding as of nearly 3 p.m., and 34 calls about tree-related issues. All of those calls had been cleared by 5 p.m. Staff also gave out more than 5,000 sandbags to Berkeley residents, who were able to pick them up at locations around the city.

Malcolm X Elementary School also experienced significant flooding, and Chakko said the Berkeley Unified School District — which had shuttered all schools and offices Thursday due to the weather — was handling that issue.

See Berkeleyside’s live blog of the “Pineapple Express” storm’s local impacts.

There were several street closures, on Bolivar Drive and Bay Street, and around Ashby Avenue (which is also known as California 13). By late afternoon, Ashby around Interstate 80 had been closed in both directions due to flooding, authorities said. Ashby was expected to re-open by midnight Friday.

(Watch a playlist below of many storm-related videos shared with Berkeleyside by readers Thursday.) … Continue reading »

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Storm blog: Water mains break in Berkeley, Ashby expected to re-open by midnight

Earlier today, Codornices Creek at Ninth Street. Photo: Neil Mishalov
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Friday, Dec. 12, 12:25 a.m. Shortly before 11:30 p.m., reader William Abernathy reported a second water main break in the Berkeleyside comments section: “Main break 1300 block MLK. EBMUD alerted. No water til morning.”

Please send us storm footage, including photos and videos, and feel free to alert us to significant storm-related hazards. The best way to reach Berkeleyside is to email tips@berkeleyside.com. Twitter and Facebook work, too. Refresh this page for updates.

Dec. 11, 10:30 p.m. Several residents have reported that there is a large water main break at Seventh and Pardee streets in West Berkeley, which happened at about 9 p.m.

Said one reader shortly before 10 p.m.: “It blew out chunks of pavement and the last I saw a few minutes ago was shooting water diagonally into the air. EBMUD is now on scene.”

Reader Lisa Buckle Styling shared video of the geyser, which can be seen below. … Continue reading »

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Woman, 31, struck by lightning in South Berkeley

Emily Davis
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Emily Davis was struck by lightning in Berkeley on Monday while crossing the road during a dramatic storm. Although she was shaken and suffered some after-effects, Davis was not seriously injured. However the experience, she said, has left her feeling lucky to be alive.

Davis, 31, was standing on the median at the intersection of Adeline and Stuart streets at around 1 p.m. when she was struck. She was heading to Berkeley Bowl to buy lunch for her boyfriend who works at the nearby Berkeley Honda.

She heard a first clap of thunder which, she said, sounded like a bomb exploding.

The first she knew of being struck was when she felt a “terrible” metallic taste in her mouth.

“Then I saw an orb of light travel down the umbrella handle I was holding in my right hand,” Davis said. … Continue reading »

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Lightning strikes Berkeley tree, sends wood chunks flying

Split tree
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A giant redwood tree in North Berkeley was struck by lightning at around 1:15 p.m. today and “exploded” sending chunks of wood flying in all directions, according to authorities.

Several windows and skylights in nearby homes were broken out, but there were no reported injuries, according to Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb who estimated the redwood, which is at the intersection of Holly Street and Buena Avenue, had been reduced in size from 70 ft to about 25 ft. … Continue reading »

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Hallelujah! Prepare for a wet weekend in Berkeley

Rainy day dream away
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Steady coastal rains and heavy mountain snows are expected in Northern California throughout the weekend, with a high likelihood of rain in Berkeley through Sunday.

Showers began earlier this week. According to the National Weather Service, “Persistent onshore flow will keep conditions unsettled” across the Western United States through the weekend. … Continue reading »

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Weather

Berkeley residents assess damage caused by high winds

Oxford and Bancroft
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Thursday night’s high winds caused a range of damage around town and left residents talking about what they were seeing and hearing. We pulled their reactions into a Storify package. For more photos of the destruction wrought by the windstorm, check out Berkeleyside’s Facebook page where we are posting readers’ images.

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Weather

Breaking: High winds wreak havoc around Berkeley

Downed trees in Berkeley. Photo: Pete Rosos
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Strong winds throughout the North and East Bay are taking down trees, knocking out power and sending debris, branches and leaves swirling through Berkeley streets Thursday night.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory this afternoon for the East Bay hills and the Diablo range that will be in effect through 10 a.m. Friday. At 10:40 p.m., PG&E reported 37 outages affecting 7,561 customers in Berkeley.

Residents around Thousand Oaks, near Peralta and Gilman, and on Oregon Street near Sacramento reported being without power. … Continue reading »

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High temperatures, wind, prompt Berkeley red flag alert

Sun-burst-by-Avi
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As the weather heats up — the National Weather Service is predicting that the temperature will hit 87 degrees by Thursday – officials have issued a Red Flag Warning for the East Bay Hills for Tuesday and Wednesday.

The wind is expected to pick up speed around 6:00 p.m. today, with heavy gusts of up to 50 mph possible by early Wednesday morning. The strong winds should last until 6 p.m. May 1.

The official fire season in Berkeley hasn’t started yet, but the fire department is taking extra precautions in anticipation of the heat and wind, according to Avery Webb, interim deputy fire chief and public information officer. Firefighters have been asked to check their wildland firefighting gear and put it in their vehicles, he said. … Continue reading »

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Weather

Berkeley faces lengthy cold snap, near-record lows

Frost. Photo: Dan Brekke
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A cold front coming through the Bay Area over the next few days is forecast to bring temperatures in Berkeley to near-record lows, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures on Thursday, Friday and Saturday are expected to plumb the low 30s. The record low for January 10 at Oakland Airport was 26 degrees in 1949. The day’s average low is 42 degrees.

According to an NWS forecaster, the front originates in Alaska. The cold weather is forecast to last at least through the weekend. … Continue reading »

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