Windy Winter Storm Brings Bernal Rainbows, Erratic Electricity, Sad Trees, and Excellent Powder Skiing


Last weekend’s winter storm brought a lot of welcome rain, but it also took a toll.

A group of unfortunate Precitaville neighbors on Treat went without power for many hours, until PG&E installed a handsome mobile generator to get the lights back on:

PG&E Generator

Neighbor Rusty got the executive summary:

Update on the PGE outage Friday around Precita Park (8-9pm aprox), and the extended outage on Treat.

I talked to PG&E and got the lowdown on what happened. Friday night, around 8pm, an underground high voltage line that runs along the south side of Precita between Harrison and Treat shorted out. This is the line that feeds the power pole at the bottom of Treat.

It will take several days to permanently fix the cable on Precita that feeds our street. It is unclear if this will involve digging up steet/sidewalk, they’re still investigating the details.

This explains why when the first outage happened it affected a wider area. The short tripped breakers/fuses upstream. PG&E was able to isolate the problem area (the feeder to Treat) and disconnect it, returning power to the adjoining neighborhood.

They have installed a generator on Treat in front of Oaks and the rear of Immaculate Conception. This has been connected to the power lines going up and down treat. This was slightly involved, as in required that they disconnect all the transformers up and down the street, and install jumpers onto the 120/240 feeds so it would continue up the street.

Neighbor Paul spotted a world-famous piece of landscape art: A spiral jetty in Precita Park!


And then, of course, that big old tree fell in Precita Park. Sadness. Also, largeness:


This morning I saw a City crew was cutting away at the big fallen tree and stuffing the parts into a chipper. The tree is gone, but its biomass will live on. Farewell, Big Precita Tree.

Perhaps to make up for that, conditions were perfect for rainbows on Sunday afternoon, as Bernalwood activated the Rainbow Alert Warning System. Sure enough, at about 3:30 on Sunday afternoon, Neighbor Darcy captured the above view from Berhal Hill of a double rainbow bringing euphoria to the Mission and downtown. Neighbor Brian verified it as well:

One other blessing this storm  brought us: A fresh blanket of fluffy snow on Bernal Hill! Conditions are perfect this morning at Ski Bernalwood, and here’s a photo taken just moments ago as one lucky skier scored first tracks beneath Sutrito Tower:


Have fun out there!

PHOTOS: Rainbows at top, Darcy Lee. PG&E by Neighbor Rusty. Spiral Jetty by Neighbor Paul. Fallen tree by Neighbor Merin. Powder skiing on Bernal Hill by Telstar Logistics

UPDATED: Trees Down! Windy Storm Validates Newtonian Physics in Bernal Heights


The Bernalwood Heavy Weather Operations Center has been activated, and we are receiving multiple reports of Trees Down in Bernal Heights because of today’s high winds and rain.

Reporter Lyanne from the Action (Action… Action…) ABC7 News team shared a #superawesome #tweetreport from Crescent about an unfortunate Tree/PG&E encounter.


Neighbor Rob also shared a video with us. He writes:

Recorded this from a few doors down from my house between Cortland and Prospect. The street is covered with branches too. Yikes! Nobody was hurt and luckily no car was parked there too. Cheers!

Lets go to Neighbor Rob, who brings you this on-the-scene iPhone report:

The winds are a-blowin’ and wooden things are a-fallin’. Please be extra careful out there, citizens.

At 2:57 pm today, Neighbor Judy sent this dramatic photo from Folsom near Ripley:


She writes:

So windy: Auntie Em! Auntie Em!
Hope you’re all warm. & dry!

6:05 pm and there’s a very big tree down in Precita Park:

That tree down in Precita Park is a big one, and it’s in the southwest corner of the park near Folsom, right in front of Hillside Supper Club. Neighbor Merin shared these photos:



Bernal Heights Survives the Hellastorm in Fine Style (but Occasional Darkness)

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Well, that was dramatic, wasn’t it? And wet, too.

Maybe you called it the Rainpocalypse, or maybe you called it a Hellastorm, but no matter what nomenclature you embraced, yesterday’s epic rainstorm definitely made its presence felt. Early in the morning, a few Bernal neighbors shared status updates:

After a hearty breakfast, it was time to assess the situation first-hand. Your Bernalwood Action News Team activated Stormchaser One, our heavy-weather news vehicle, to explore Bernal Heights:


We began by driving up to Bernal Hill, where we saw a small river flowing down the closed portion of Bernal Heights Boulevard near the Folsom Street gate:


A little farther east, someone was standing next to the weird tree-shrub thing with an umbrella, looking rather rakish and fashionable:


Happily, however, Bernal Hill did not seem likely to wash away, so we headed to Cortland, to assess the situation. Cortland was quiet, with a few stores open and lots of available parking. We parked Stormchaser One in front of Heartfelt, just as Miss Darcy walked out to say a stylish hello:


From there we headed into the Good Life Grocery, to see how supplies were holding out. We were reassured to see that the available inventory of fine cheeses remained robust, despite the pre-storm preparedness crunch:


On Facebook, Neighbor Lupe had shared a photo of the flooding on Alemany, near the Farmer’s Market and the Spaghetti Bowl interchange:


Yet by the time Stormchaser One arrived, the clogged drains had been cleared and Alemany had been closed to traffic. But no sooner had that situation been resolved than another crisis struck: Much of North Bernal and Precitaville suddenly went dark. Power failure!

Here’s how the impacted area looked on PG&E’s (not very helpful) outage map:


Stormchaser One returned to the Bernalwood mothership on Precita, and sure enough… our power was out too!


Fortunately, the stove was still working, so the Bernalwood Action News Team fortified ourselves with some rather delicious French onion soup. This brightened our mood, but as the afternoon wore on and the power remained out, the novelty of the blackout began to fade. When the sun finally set, darkness prevailed in our corner of Precitaville:


Luckily, the power came on — and stayed on — by around 6 pm, which made the storm feel cozy again.

So we survived. And you? How did you fare? Share your Hellastorm stories and cuisine tips in the comments.


Storm Clouds Animate Fiery Sunset on Bernal Hill


Storm clouds and a setting sun often make for a stylish pairing, and yesterday’s weather did not disappoint.  Neighbor Charlie shared the photo above, taken on Bernal Hill yesterday as the sky lit up in an intense swirl of orange and black.

Not far away, Jenna Bilotta snapped this handsome profile of Bernal Hill.  Don’t you love how the orange sky accentuates our dashingly handsome profile?


PHOTOS: Top, Neighbor Charlie. Below, Jenna Bilotta

Bernal Skyspotters Confirm Intense Rainbow Strikes in Downtown San Francisco


The rest of the world may be chaotic and menacing, but Sunday’s on-and-off rainstorms interspersed with periods of sunshine resulted in a Category Two Rainbow Warning for all of Bernal Heights.

Scientists from the Bernalwood Rainbow Situation Control Facility were on duty in the likely event that a rainbow might touch down in our area:


Sure enough, at around 11:30 am Bernal Heights neighbor and celebrity sci-fi writer M. Luke McDonell documented the above, a confirmed Full-Arc Rainbow, as seen from her Precitaville observation post. Based on the observed prismatic trajectories, Bernalwood estimates that residents of Duboce Triangle and China Basin may have experienced rainbow-induced euphoria as a result.

Neighbor Kendall documented a direct hit on Rincon Hill’s Ionic Breeze Tower:


Moments later, @xtraslky provided further data:


She wondered:

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 11.00.45 PM

Yup, that’s confirmed.

UPDATE: Via MissionMission, we find this terrific photo by woolfshirt that shows Bernal Heights positioned strategically beneath Sunday’s rainbow barrage. As all armchair rainbow-watchers know, this positioning is ideal to maximize the positive effects of Rainbow Energy throughout the entire Dominion of Bernalwood:


PHOTOS: Top, M. Luke McDonell. Below, @xtraslky.

Recent Sunsets Provide Special Treats for Fans of Purple and Orange


There have been some rather spectacular sunsets on Bernal Hill of late.

And we are fortunate to have some rather spectacular photographers in our ranks to capture these sunsets for us all to enjoy. The shots you see here were all taken by Scott Morin on November 9, 2014, and shared with us via the always stylish Bernalwood Flickr Group. Thanks Scott!

Check out more of his awesomeness:



PHOTOS: Scott Morin