Yesterday’s storm wreaked havoc on Oakland and the East Bay, flooding streets, toppling trees, and possibly causing the death of one person. 

Oakland Fire Department spokesperson Michael Hunt confirmed that an unhoused man died after a fallen tree struck his tent near 565 Bellevue Ave., close to Grand Avenue and Perkins Street. 

“The exact cause of death is unknown, but he is presumed to have died due blunt force or suffocation,” Hunt said in an email to The Oaklandside.

According to the National Weather Service, wind gusts at the Oakland Airport reached 74 mph, with its peak at 2 p.m. The gusts caused downed trees and power outages all throughout the city. Meteorologists are calling this storm a “rapidly deepening cyclone” because the pressure dropped quickly as it reached the coast. The storm center was right over the Bay Area. 

According to the PG&E, as of Wednesday morning, about 15,000 households were without electricity. 

Power outages are spread throughout the city. Neighborhoods like Jingletown, Dimond, the hills along Skyline Boulevard, areas between 50th Avenue and 57th Avenue, and deep East Oakland between 82nd and 98th Avenue have the highest numbers of households without power since yesterday.

A downed tree along Skyline Boulevard. Credit: Oakland Public Works

According to Oakland Public Works, tree crews and emergency contractors are responding to more than 100 tree emergencies reported overnight to OAK311. Oakland Public Works is prioritizing damaged areas where public safety and traffic impacts are the most severe, starting with downed trees that are causing safety hazards and major traffic impacts. Oakland Public Works is asking residents to be patient as they prioritize sending response crews to where they are most urgently needed.

The agency is also urging the public to report any down trees or limbs—as they are considered an infrastructure emergency—by dialing 311 or calling 510-615-5566. Although they are still checking maintenance requests submitted by email or the app, the agency wants to get real-time information by phone when an issue requires immediate attention.

Deep East Oakland is one of the neighborhoods most affected by the power outage, according to PG&E’s outage map.

Power outages and downed trees, and electrical lines aren’t the only issues that Oakland residents are dealing with. The Interstate 580 exit to Highway 13 was blocked due to a downed tree. The closure was cleared in under an hour. 

Over at the Oakland estuary, a section of a dock broke loose and floated away with boats connected to it. KTVU reported that five boats attached to the dock floated away. Crews were able to tie the dock to a boat and haul it away. 

The National Weather Service has issued several hazardous condition alerts, including a coastal flood advisory that is in effect until March 23, 3:00 am. A flood advisory expired today at 11:45 a.m. The forecast predicts scattered showers all throughout the Bay Area through Wednesday night with less than an inch of additional rain. After that, a couple of dry days and freezing temperatures overnight through the weekend will be followed by another storm next week.

Azucena Rasilla is a bilingual journalist from East Oakland reporting in Spanish and in English, and a longtime reporter on Oakland arts, culture and community. As an independent local journalist, she has reported for KQED Arts, The Bold Italic, Zora and The San Francisco Chronicle. She was a writer and social media editor for the East Bay Express, helping readers navigate Oakland’s rich artistic and creative landscapes through a wide range of innovative digital approaches.