Jan 28, 2010 12:39 PM by Ariel Wesler

KSBY hits the slick roads with the CHP

Our heavy rains, combined with fierce winds made for dangerous driving along the Central Coast.

The rain impacts visibility on the roadways and creates the potential for hydroplaning as the water gathers on the freeway. The California Highway Patrol says staying safe is as simple as slowing down.

These downpours are becoming all too familiar this week, but are still just as dangerous. KSBY's Ariel Wesler rode along with CHP officer Craig Carrier in Santa Maria to get a first hand look at driving in these conditions.

"It doesn't take a whole lot of speed. If you look ahead, we have an awful lot of standing water on the roadway. We're only traveling at about 52 mph at this point," Carrier said.

Our first call? A tree blocking part of the northbound 101 Freeway, just a mile south of Clark Avenue.

"When they cut that limb down, it's going to fall down over both lanes," Carrier said. "Do we have an ETA on Caltrans?"

We created a traffic break while Caltrans removed the tree. Once that crisis was averted, we checked for speeders.

"People are going to see me. They're going to slow down and that's going to eliminate a lot of crashes at that point, a lot of crashes," Carrier said.

While the freeways were relatively clear, flooding quickly became a problem for drivers on rural roads. Water rushed into the streets near Telephone Road and Prell Road in Santa Maria. Rosemary Road was closed between Stowell and Betteravia.

Still, Carrier emphasized. no matter where you're driving the advice remains the same.

"The easiest way to put it is slow down, slow down, slow down."

The CHP says since the storms started Monday, it's received almost double the number of incident calls.


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