The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Breaking News: Fatal series of storms surge across the Bay Area

Clementine Cunningham
Flooding occurs on New Year’s Eve outside of Olsen Nolte Saddle Shop on the corner of Central Avenue and El Camino Real in San Carlos.

Governor Gavin Newsom issued a state of emergency Wednesday morning in response to a Level Five storm, which hit the Bay Area that night. The storm, whose severity was calculated by the ABC7 Exclusive Storm Impact Scale, caused widespread flooding, mudslides, rockslides, downed trees, loss of power, and gusts of wind greater than 60 mph.

This was the second large storm to face the Bay Area this week, the first being a Level Two storm that swept across the area on New Year’s Eve. The December 31st storm left many major highways closed for a period of time, including Highway 101 and Highway 92. In San Mateo County, El Camino Real, Holly Street, Old County Road, and Industrial Road experienced flooding and closures as well.

This series of storms is called a “pineapple express” meaning they pick up moisture in the tropics and bring it to the U.S. Wednesday’s storm specifically was categorized as a “bomb cyclone” by meteorologists, as its cold front brought hurricane-force wind gusts.

“You’re probably hearing the term bomb cyclone which is actually a meteorological term meaning that the intensity of the storm the pressure of the storm has dropped twenty-four millibars in twenty-four hours, so it just intensified rapidly,” said NBC Bay Area meteorologist Kari Hall via a broadcast.

On Wednesday, residents were urged to stay off the roads and stay home, and evacuations were even initiated for areas of Santa Cruz County.

Similar to the New Year’s Eve storm, Wednesday’s storm left roads, parks, and even schools closed for the day. Additionally, flights at the San Francisco International Airport were grounded for a period of time, according to ABC7 news.

The storm surged on into Thursday morning, causing even more damage. In Burlingame, a tree fell on the Caltrain tracks, blocking the train in the northbound and southbound directions before being removed Thursday afternoon. Large waves also severely damaged the coastline and wharf in Capitola. In response to the coastline damage, ABC7 News urged residents to stay away from bodies of water until flood warnings were lifted later on Thursday.

The worst effects of the storm included two deaths, that of a 2-year-old and a 19-year-old. In Occidental, the home of a toddler was hit by a tree, and although CPR was performed, the toddler did not survive. In Fairfield, a 19-year-old woman died when she hydroplaned and crashed while driving on Vandon Road, which was flooded at the time.

While California is receiving a break from the storm today, heavy rainfall will continue on Saturday, once again causing flood risk. Additionally, forecasters predict another atmospheric river will come through the region next week, bringing with it a “wetter and stronger” storm, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

The NWS is urging residents to stay current on weather information, “as there is a direct threat to life and property from these impacts.”

*This is a breaking news story. The article will be updated with more information.

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About the Contributors
Sienna Reinders
Sienna Reinders, Highlander Editor
Sienna Reinders, a senior at Carlmont, is a staff writer for Scot Scoop and an editor for The Highlander. She is a passionate journalist who has also taken her skills to UC Berkeley's Daily Cal newspaper, with internships in the summers of 2022 and 2023. When she is not writing, you can find her running with friends to train for her next cross country or track race. To view her portfolio, click here.
Clementine Cunningham
Clementine Cunningham, Highlander Managing Editor
Clementine Cunningham (class of 2024) is a student at Carlmont High School, a staff writer for Scot Scoop, and a managing editor for The Highlander. She is passionate about covering a variety of topics that bring awareness to pressing issues in our ever-changing society. In her free time, you can find her dancing at Heartbeat Dance studio, obsessing over books, or testing out a new recipe. To view her portfolio, click here. Twitter: @clecunningham

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Breaking News: Fatal series of storms surge across the Bay Area