California Pounded by Fiercest Storm in 5 Years

PHOTO: The Placer County Sherrifs Office released photos of surfers on Lake Tahoe taking advantage of waves on Thursday Dec. 11PlayPlacer County Sherrif's Office
WATCH Biggest Storm in Years Affects Millions in Its Path

Extremely high rain soaked winds wrecked havoc by downing trees and disrupting schools and traffic in the Bay Area, and in Lake Tahoe produced waves that towered as much as 7 feet high.

The Placer County Sheriff's Office posted a series of photos of daredevil surfers riding waves on the typically placid Lake Tahoe.

The storm prompted hundreds of schools in California to close today and they weren't the only ones to take precautions as ferries stopped running. Some mass transit was ground to a halt as the Bay Area braced for the "Pineapple Express."

The moisture-packed storm, which is technically known as an atmospheric river, has been dubbed the "Pineapple Express" because of its Hawaiian origins.

More than 100,000 students stayed home, and others struggled to get around through the blustery and rain soaked area.

With wind gusts expected to hit 30 to 50 miles per hour, some folks in Sacramento took precautions, by taking down their holiday decorations.

Tens of thousands of people lost power on Wednesday as gusts of up to 63 miles per hour hit the Seattle area, and more than 100,000 lost power today in the Bay area.

PHOTO: Aidan Stephenson,12, and Conor Stephenson,10, visiting from Phoenix, watch the waves break on Ocean View Boulevard, Dec. 10, 2014, in Pacific Grove, Calif.Vern Fisher/Monterey Herald/AP Photo
Aidan Stephenson,12, and Conor Stephenson,10, visiting from Phoenix, watch the waves break on Ocean View Boulevard, Dec. 10, 2014, in Pacific Grove, Calif.

My current situation. Free Bath on God :-)

A photo posted by Javier Reyes (@improvjav) on Dec 12, 2014 at 8:40am PST

PHOTO: A car creates a wave of water while passing through a flooded area, Dec. 11, 2014, in Mill Valley, Calif.Eric Risberg/AP Photo
A car creates a wave of water while passing through a flooded area, Dec. 11, 2014, in Mill Valley, Calif.

Californians aren't the only ones facing Mother Nature's dark side today as parts of Interstate 81 in upstate New York is closed due to a massive snowfall.

More than two feet fell in the area on Wednesday and an additional 4 to 8 inches are expected today.

PHOTO: Commuter ML Mann struggles in the wind and rain to make her way to catch a ferry, Dec. 11, 2014, to San Francisco from Sausalito, Calif.Eric Risberg/AP Photo
Commuter ML Mann struggles in the wind and rain to make her way to catch a ferry, Dec. 11, 2014, to San Francisco from Sausalito, Calif.

PHOTO: Jerry Croissant, 77, places sandbags to protect his home from mudslides outside his home in Gelndra, Calif., below mountains burned over in wildfires, Dec. 10, 2014.Nick Ut/AP Photo
Jerry Croissant, 77, places sandbags to protect his home from mudslides outside his home in Gelndra, Calif., below mountains burned over in wildfires, Dec. 10, 2014.