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Bay Area Bracing For Severe Storm (VIDEO)

What some are calling the worst storm of the decade is expected to hit California's Bay Area tonight and Thursday, prompting the Coast Guard to issue an alert for boaters.
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San Francisco Bay and the surrounding areas are bracing for a storm with destructive forces to hit the area tonight and tomorrow.

CBS San Francisco is reporting sustained storm winds could reach could near hurricane strength at higher altitudes with sea-level winds around the 60 mph mark with higher gusts possible.

The stations meteorologist, Paul Deanno said, "for those of us who have lived here for a while, the potential of this storm is comparable to the ones in January 2008 and February 1998, both of which caused widespread wind and flooding damage."

Rainfall during the storm could reach as high as eight inches, prompting emergency response authorities in the area to ask locals to grab a rake and help clean storm drains whenever possible. In addition the National Weather Service also issued a staggering 15 separate weather warnings for the area including a Flash Flood Watch, Gale Warning, Hazardous Seas Advisory, and High Wind Watch.

On the waterfront, the Coast Guard is asking boaters to exercise caution if on the water as waves churned up by the high winds could reach up to 30 feet. Those on the docks are also being asked to prepare by adding extra lines to prevent vessels from breaking free.

John Baier, a yacht broker in Sausalito told ABC7 News he has done all he can think of to prepare.

"We've removed a lot of the canvas from the boats, covers, tops, anything that could be blown away in a big gust of wind," says Baier. "Over 40 knots is what we're expecting."

Authorities are cautioning boaters that would be wise for cruisers in the area to be sure they batten down the hatches and prepare for the worst.

ABC7 writes, "the Red Cross also recommends preparing a personal emergency kit with water, flashlights, batteries, and medicines."

Yacht broker John Baier adding extra lines to his yachts.

Yacht broker John Baier adding extra lines to his yachts.