Sacramento Record-Breaking Storm Creates Area Chaos

Heavy Rainfall and High Winds Impact Local Residents

A record-breaking storm hit the Sacramento area and Northern California on October 24 that created havoc and kept police, fire, and rescue personnel busy with hundreds of calls for help. Between 1:00 a.m. on October 24th and 1:00 a.m. on the 25th, Downtown Sacramento received 5.4 inches of rain, which flooded and damaged streets and highways, downed trees, and set the highest record since 1880.

Giant Potholes Reported Along Westbound U.S. 50

One of the calls during the record-breaking storm received by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) on October 25 at about 6:26 a.m. reported several giant potholes along the El Dorado Freeway at the Stockton Boulevard off-ramp. When officers arrived, they discovered three vehicles on the right-hand side and seven requiring help from the Freeway Service Patrol. A pothole that was seven feet long, three feet deep, and two feet wide was discovered in the number four lane. On the Stockton off-ramp, a 15-foot-long pothole that was one foot deep was discovered. Caltrans repair crews were called to the site, and the lane shut down.

Widespread Flooding Reported in Record-Breaking Storm 

Flooding caused by the heavy rain in the record-breaking storm was reported in many areas, including the following:

  • Zinfandel and Trade Center drives in Rancho Cordova
  • Tyler Street in Sacramento, where all the lanes were reported as flooded
  • Golden State Highway at the exit for Martin Luther King, Jr., where the number four lane was flooded
  • The South Sacramento California Highway Patrol office on Massie Court
  • Flooding was reported at northbound 99 at 5th Street
  • The Bruceville on-ramp to 99
  • Southbound I-5 between J and Q streets in the slow lane
  • Northbound I-5 near Sutter
  • Intersection of Arno and Valensen roads
  • In the area of Clay Station
  • Westbound Longridge Court
  • Longview on-ramp to I-80 

Downed Trees Contribute to Woes During Record-Breaking Storm

A number of trees were reported as falling during the record-breaking storm, including a massive 100-year-old oak tree in Fair Oaks that came crashing down on three vehicles at one home. The tree split down the middle when it fell and managed to land on all three vehicles, which were parked on different sides in front of the house, probably causing more than $100,000 in damage. Residents who have had trees fall, experienced flooding, or have downed power lines can phone 311 for help.

Staying Safe When Driving Through Standing Water

The best course of action when flooding is going on is to stay at home. This is because water on the roadway can obscure potholes, debris, and other hazards. A mere six inches of water is enough to flood a vehicle’s exhaust and render the car unusable. However, some motorists tend to brave the elements, so knowing how to stay safe is important. Some suggestions include:

  • Drive down the middle of the road. Because a roadway is at its highest point in the middle, it’s the safest area to pass through.
  • Even shallow flooding can make a driver lose control of their vehicle. Never drive through water that comes up to your wheel’s center. 
  • Create one lane and take turns passing through. Vehicles splashing others when driving side by side can increase stress. Besides, the displacement of water by the vehicle in front of you can make passage easier.
  • Drive slowly. Speeding through an area with water on the roadway increases your risk of losing control. Driving at a very slow speed can avoid having your engine flooded.
  • Avoid spinning out. Once out of the area, drive slowly and tap your brakes to dry them to avoid this common hazard.
  • Never drive through running water. Vehicles become buoyant and can be swept away, even if they are large and heavy.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer

I am Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. When weather conditions are terrible, it’s better to stay home until the danger passes. When a negligent driver or other entity causes your injuries, you may be able to claim compensation for your losses. Contact us for free and friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. An online contact form is available also.

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