Rain continued to sweep through the Bay Area Saturday, frustrating some travelers and causing some North Bay homeowners to keep a wary watch on swollen creeks and streams. But the soaking brought only psychic relief to the region's drought concerns.
"It doesn't hurt," said Larry Smith, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, "but it's going to take a lot more rain to put a dent in the drought."
Some locations reported significant 24-hour rainfall totals Saturday. As of 4:30 Saturday afternnon, Guerneville in Sonoma County was inundated with 11.2 inches. Rainfall was so heavy in the North Bay that the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Petaluma and Rohnert Park that was to remain in effect until 7:45 p.m.
Santa Rosa had received nearly 4 inches of rain, while Ben Lomond in the Santa Cruz Mountains received 3.6 inches. Other locations reported more modest 24-hour totals: San Jose received less than a tenth of an inch, according to the NWS, while Oakland received 1.67 inches from 4:30 Friday to 4:30 Saturday.
San Francisco had received about an inch of rain as of Saturday afternoon, but San Francisco International Airport was the airport most adversely affected by the weather. According to an airport spokesman, as of noon there were delays of 30 to 90 minutes, and 59 flights had been canceled.
The weather prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to call for a ground delay program at SFO that's expected to last through midnight. Travelers are encouraged to check with their airlines before heading to the airport.
Mineta San Jose International Airport was experiencing only minor delays, according to spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes, and Oakland International Airport reported virtually no delays and no cancellations.
Smith said he expected the rain to continue throughout the weekend.
"It looks like it's going to last through Sunday, then on Monday it will dry out some," he said.
The rain comes less than two weeks after Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency in the state. But the rainfall this weekend will do little to offset the shortfall, according to the weather service.
Authorities reminded motorists to be wary of poor visibility and pools of rain water blocking storm drains, which can cause driving hazards. With the Santa Cruz Mountains getting soaked, a stretch of southbound Highway 17 in Los Gatos was closed for about 30 minutes after a solo vehicle spun out, to the California Highway Patrol.
The crash was reported about 10:40 a.m. on northbound Highway 17 in the area of the Laurel Curve in Los Gatos. The driver had minor injuries and declined being transported to the hospital.
On Saturday morning, PG&E reported outages in Moraga, where 95 customers were without electricity, and San Lorenzo, where 62 customers were without electricity after a car ran into a power pole. Repairs in San Lorenzo were expected to take until 4 p.m. Saturday, according to PG&E.
In Oakland, where the monthly First Friday was canceled on Friday because of the weather, the CHP reported flooding on Telegraph Avenue on Saturday morning. The city's Public Works Department is offering residents free sandbags and plastic sheeting to avoid drainage issues.
Up to 20 sandbags and 50 feet of sheeting per resident is available for pickup at the Municipal Service Center at 7101 Edgewater Drive and the Public Works Drainage Division facility at 5921 Shepherd Canyon Road.
Up to five sandbags can be picked up at select fire stations throughout the city. Proof of residency is required.
Oakland officials are also asking people to check and clean their gutters and downspouts and to keep curbs and gutters free of leaves and debris as a way to prevent flooding.
Contra Costa County is also offering sandbags to residents, although anyone wishing a sandbag will need their own shovel and transportation.
People can pick up the bags at: the West County Detention Facility at 5555 Giant Highway in Richmond; the Ambrose Park and Recreation Center at 3105 Willow Pass Road in Bay Point; the county fairgrounds at 1201 W. 10th St. in Antioch; the Byron Airport at 500 Eagle Curt in Byron; and in Pacheco on Waterbird Way across from the county gas pumps, county officials said.
Bay City News contributed to this report.