Bay Area rain makes for messy morning commute

April 4, 2013 7:11:32 PM PDT
There are still widely scattered showers around the Bay Area and driving can still be treacherous. Early Thursday morning, however, the rain came down in a steady stream at 4th and Howard streets in San Francisco.

Hours of steady rain pouring over Marin County made for a messy morning commute. The Marin area California Highway Patrol covers a roughly 25 mile stretch of road and had a busy rush responding to accident upon accident.

"As of this morning, in a two-hour period of time in the Marin Area alone, we've had approximately eight crashes so far," CHP Officer Andrew Barclay said. "So far minor injuries on some of them, nothing major yet, but definitely the weather is contributing to a lot of incidents on the roadway."

Early Thursday morning the rain got heavy and didn't stop coming down. Standing water created dangerous conditions for drivers on 101 at Lucky Drive in San Rafael; and as rush hour began and the traffic picked up, so too did drivers' speeds.

"It's what we always remind people," Officer Barclay said. "When it's raining, things you need to remember -- slow down, increase your following distance, so watch the vehicles in front of you, don't get so close to them."

And allow yourself more time to get where you're going. Sonoma State student Janelle Lovejoy wishes she weren't rushing to class in the rain.

"Just a lot of swerving between lanes and stuff," Lovejoy said. "Um, I'm a little bit nervous about the drive today."

But the intermittent downpours weren't problematic for everyone.

"It's fine, but I haven't been doing a lot of driving, I've just been driving locally," Corte Madera resident Alan Blumenthal said.

Real estate agent Blumenthal said that for his business, the timing for a little storm couldn't have been better.

"We don't have any open houses today, so it doesn't affect me directly," he said. "But, you know, there are so few homes on the market that, as soon as they come on, people come out no matter what the weather is like."

PG&E worked Thursday to fix a power pole that a car knocked over just after 7 a.m. at 20th and Castro streets. It affected about 25 customers. The rain caused some scattered power outages around the Bay, affecting customers in Oakland, Pleasanton, and San Francisco.

The heavy rain is done for the day but scattered showers will continue. The CHP is reminding drivers to turn on their headlights when driving in the rain, it's the law.


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