Tag Archives: Berkeley weather

Real weather in Berkeley – time to go storm chasing

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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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Flood advisory for Alameda County, Bay Area, power outage in West Berkeley

Berkeley woke up to heavy rain on Tuesday Dec. 2. Photo: Colleen Neff
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The National Weather Service issued a flood advisory Tuesday for much of the Bay Area, including Alameda County, while around 700 Berkeley residents are without power in West Berkeley.

The “urban and small stream” flood advisory was issued at at 7:39 a.m. and is in place until 7:30 p.m.

Automated rainage and doppler radar indicated “excessive amounts of rainfall in the impacted areas,” the alert issued this morning read. “Runoff from heavy rainfall is expected to cause ponding or flooding on some roadways… poor drainage areas and low-lying spots,” the release continued.

The release said there had been reports of roadway flooding and rock/mud slides Tuesday morning, as well as “numerous reports of accidents due to wet roadways.” … Continue reading »

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New drought rules would see Berkeley reduce its water use

A Downtown Berkeley Association employee powerwashes the sidewalk at the corner of Shattuck and Center. Photo: Isabelle Gaston
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This week the state Water Resources Control Board will consider emergency restrictions on water use that would require the city of Berkeley to impose fines for certain types of outdoor water use.

If approved, the Water Board’s drought measures would require Berkeley to levy fines of up to $500 for excessive water use while  cleaning sidewalks, watering plants, cleaning cars, or operating outdoor fountains.

This will be good news to some Berkeley residents, who have noticed some businesses using large amounts of water around town. Isabelle Gaston, president of the Northeast Berkeley Association, emailed Councilman Jesse Arreguín recently about the Downtown Berkeley Association’s use of power-washers to clean the sidewalks in the downtown neighborhood.

“One can see in the photos the large pools of water accumulating on the sidewalks,” wrote Gaston in her email. “I would think a good sweeping would be sufficient given the severity of our water shortage.”

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Exploding Berkeley redwood felled after lightning strike

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A clean-up operation was underway today after a giant redwood tree in North-West Berkeley exploded after being struck by lightning during a storm on Monday, sending large chunks of wood flying all over the neighborhood. Nearby homes and cars sustained damage, and some witnesses said wood debris landed as far as two blocks away from the site of the tree at 1430 Holly Street (at Buena Avenue).

Fortunately nobody was injured during the dramatic incident, although during the same storm lightning struck 31-year-old Emily Davis as she was crossing Adeline Street about two miles south of the site of the tree. … 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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News

High winds in Berkeley knock down wires, tree limbs

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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High winds in Berkeley created hazardous situations into the night Tuesday, and are expected to intensify. Power lines in various locations were reported to be blowing around, with at least one down altogether. We’ve curated some of the most creative local tweets and wind-related public safety news for readers here. See our Storify post below. It may be updated as more information becomes available.

A wind advisory from the National Weather Service is in effect in Berkeley until 8 a.m. Wednesday. … Continue reading »

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EBMUD asks East Bay customers to cut water use by 10%

Recent storms provided 7 inches of rain for EBMUD, but xxx. Photo: Pete Rosos
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In one of the driest years ever, EBMUD is asking East Bay residents to stretch water supplies and cut their usage by 10%. Without enough rain, the utility may still have to declare a water shortage emergency this spring, it said.

The East Bay Municipal Utility District, which provides provides water and sewage treatment to customers in the East Bay, released a statement Tuesday that spelled out the severity of the current, ongoing drought.

“EBMUD relies on snowmelt and runoff for almost all of its supply. As of this weekend, the amount of snow and rain in the Mokelumne River watershed 90 miles from the East Bay is 49% of normal,” it said in a release. Recent storms provided about seven inches of rain for EBMUD. … Continue reading »

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Photos: The rain in Berkeley, as seen by Berkeleysiders

Keep that suit dry
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It rained on and off — but mostly on — all weekend and, according to the forecast, that is all we are likely to get, at least for a little while.

The precipitation prompted Berkeleysiders who braved the weather to shoot some great images and video.

Thank you for sharing them with us.
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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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