Powerful winds created chaos on the Altamont Pass, blew down trees and knocked out power to thousands of Bay Area residents Sunday night, but the havoc figures to be only a blip in an otherwise benign weather system moving through the region.
Nobody was seriously injured by the winds, but several people were hospitalized with minor to moderate injuries, including drivers of five big rigs and a travel trailer, authorities said.
The trucks toppled on the Altamont Pass, where gusts reached 75 mph at about 8 p.m., according to National Weather Service forecaster Steve Anderson. In every instance, according to a California Highway Patrol dispatcher, the drivers were going too fast for the conditions.
The wrecks happened near the Corral Hollow Road exit on westbound Interstate 580, which runs through the Altamont Pass, according to the CHP.
The winds also knocked down part of an oak tree into an Antioch home at West Sixth and L streets; caused a shelter-in-place warning in Pittsburg about 9:30 p.m.; and cost more than 10,000 PG&E customers their power throughout the Bay Area.
But the howling will not continue into the week, Anderson said. The winds were created by a low-pressure weather system that brought snow to Blue Canyon, Truckee and South Lake Tahoe and collided with the high-pressure that provided clear, mostly warm weather the previous week, Anderson said.
But as the low-pressure system moves out of the Sierra and toward Colorado, the calm air and higher temperatures will resume, Anderson said. Temperatures on Halloween are expected to be in the upper 50s and lower 60s at trick-or-treat time on Thursday, he said.
"It's coldest an hour before the sun comes up, so unless kids go trick-or-treating at 6:25 a.m., they'll be fine," Anderson said. "Maybe take a sweater."
The people injured in wind-related incidents are expected to recover. A man in the Antioch home suffered scratches and a back injury, according to a Contra Costa Fire District dispatcher. A baby with the man was uninjured. The tree had been cleared by Monday morning.
In Pittsburg, authorities asked residents in the area of San Juan and Brookside drives to shelter in place due to downed power lines about 9:30 p.m. In Emeryville, the Alameda County Fire Department posted a picture on Twitter of a building facade in the 5600 block of Bay Street that fell over because of the strong winds.
Throughout the Bay Area, the wind wreaked havoc on electrical power.
In San Francisco, about 5,600 customers in the Russian Hill, Nob Hill and Ghirardelli Square areas lost power about 9:25 p.m. Sunday because of a downed power line, PG&E spokeswoman Jana Morris said. More than 3,000 lost power in the San Carlos and Redwood City areas in two separate outages, and more than 700 were reported to be without power in Cupertino, according to PG&E.
Approximately 3,200 people endured power outages in Antioch, and about 2,170 in Danville and Alamo also went without power, the utility said. About 1,800 people still were without power in the Bay Area at 11 a.m. Monday, with the biggest outage in Redwood City, where 478 customers lost their electricity because of downed tree. About 200 customers in Antioch and Danville still were without power at 11 a.m. Monday.
Bay City News contributed to this story.
Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.