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Storms knock out power, collapse hillside in Oakland

April showers bring havoc across East Bay

Thursday’s storm left tens of thousands in the Bay Area without power and some Oakland residents out of their homes entirely as powerful winds and a perhaps aggressive degree of rainfall blew down power lines and collapsed part of a hillside near Banning Drive.

Late Thursday night, part of the 6500 block of Aitken Drive tumbled downhill, endangering one home on Aitken and five on the 6700 block of Banning below.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, fire officials say those homes are still in danger and all of the residents remain evacuated.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle says that almost 37,000 people across the East Bay were still without power early Friday as winds (which Weather Underground clocked at more than 50 miles per hour in Oakland on Saturday, with gusts up to 62 mph) wrought havoc on power lines.

About 6,000 more across the North Bay, South Bay, and peninsula ended up in the dark as well. NBC reported much wider outages Thursday night, affecting over 114,000 people in all, more than 82,000 of them in the East Bay.

As of Friday morning, PG&E still reports more than 6,200 Oakland residents without power, 1,200 Berkeley in Berkeley, over 1,000 in Fremont, and 420 in San Jose, but only six in San Francisco.

After all that, just about an inch of rain fell on San Francisco on Thursday (the first of the month and bringing our yearly total to more than 20), and only a bit more than that on Oakland and Berkeley. The brunt of the storm hit much further north.

More rain is in the works for Saturday, and then yet another storm is probably inbound for next Thursday.