With the heaviest rain expected Wednesday night — the latest in a series of back-to-back storms this week — first responders are bracing for more flooding, mudslides and more traffic collisions.
Meteorologist Keily Delerme with the National Weather Service office in Oxnard said most of the rain in SCV is expected to fall overnight.
“We are expecting between one and three inches of rain for your area,” she said.”It should start about 7 or 8 (p.m.), with most of the storm happening overnight.”
With that much rain expected, law enforcement officials are making sure motorists know — in advance — to slow down
“Rain is expected to increase by midday on Wednesday and become heavier in the evening and overnight periods,” Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, wrote in a news release issued Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, traffic collisions tend to increase during the wet weather. Slow down. Speed limit signs are designed for ideal conditions… Beware of hydroplaning.”
Miller noted a small increase in the number of incidents earlier this week.
“People,” she said, “tend to drive the same way they do when it’s not raining.”
In one of the many traffic collisions Wednesday, two people were injured when two vehicles collided shortly after 8:35 a.m., on Sierra Highway at Spring Canyon Road.
In that crash, a truck overturned, trapping at least one occupant inside it, said Vanessa Lozano, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Firefighters dispatched to the crash had to free the trapped occupant from the wreckage, she said.
Both injured patients were taken to the hospital.
“When a vehicle is travelling too fast in wet or flooded conditions, the tires of the vehicle cannot displace the water fast enough, and the vehicle is actually driving on top of the water, and getting no traction whatsoever,” Miller said Wednesday. This causes the vehicle to drift or skid uncontrollably.
“Try to avoid curb lines as this is where water usually accumulates the most,” she added. “If you do experience hydroplaning, take your foot off the accelerator and steer in the direction of the skid until your car has slowed enough to regain traction. Do not slam on the brakes, as this may cause your vehicle to skid even worse and give you little to no control.”
If you are driving in inclement weather requiring your windshield wipers to be activated, you are also required to have your headlights on, per California Vehicle Code, 24400(b).
This is to make you more visible to other drivers. Another caution was to remember at the end of your drive to turn off your headlights, so you don’t return to your car with a dead battery.
When driving, stay alert to any road hazards. Stormy weather can cause power lines to fall. This can create hazards – electrifying puddles, wet grass and the surrounding area. Don’t touch anyone or anything in contact with a downed power line.
Other cautionary notes shard by Miller included one about power lines: “Always assume downed power lines are energized and dangerous.”.