Motorists Should Prepare for Rain-slick Valley, Delta Roadways


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District:  District 3 - Marysville
Contact:  Gilbert Mohtes-Chan
Phone:  (530) 682-6145



MARYSVILLE — Motorists should prepare for slick driving conditions and possible flooded roadways because of a major storm heading toward the greater Sacramento Valley and Delta regions.

The National Weather Service predicts the storm system will arrive Tuesday and continue into Friday, dumping 2 to 4 inches of rain and generating wind gusts up to 60 mph across the Valley and Delta.

Caltrans advises motorists to allow extra time to reach their destination because of wet roads, urban flooding and gusty winds causing downed tree branches and power outages.

Heavy rain also may generate ash flows in newly burned areas from the LNU Lightning Complex fire on sections of State Highway 128 east of Winters and State Highway 16 in the Rumsey Canyon area of Yolo and Colusa counties.

Caltrans reminds motorists that wet roadways reduce traction on tires and that it takes twice as long to stop on a wet highway than on a dry one. Visibility is also reduced in the rain.

Here are some tips for driving safely in the rain and wind:

  • As a rule, don’t drive in water if you can’t see road markings. A vehicle can float in just one foot of water. It’s safer to turn around and find another route.
  • Try to stay in the middle lane where flooding is less likely.
  • Drive in the tracks of the vehicle in front of you. This allows the vehicle ahead to displace any standing water that’s on the road.
  • Reduce speed and allow extra space between vehicles.
  • Keep both hands on the steering wheel.
  • Keep an eye on high profile vehicles such as large trucks and buses during windy conditions.
  • If side winds occur while driving, steer your vehicle gently and slowly in the opposite direction.
  • If your vehicle starts to hydroplane, take your foot off the gas pedal, but don’t push hard on the brakes. Instead, apply the brakes in a steady manner and steer in the direction of the skid. For vehicles with anti-lock brakes, apply more pressure to the brakes, but avoid pumping them.
  • After driving through a puddle, tap the brake pedal to help dry out the brake pads.
  • Turn on headlights.
  • Make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition.

Caltrans will issue updates on Twitter @CaltransDist3 and on Facebook at CaltransDistrict3. For real-time traffic, click on Caltrans’ QuickMap or download the QuickMap app from the App Store or Google Play.