Santa Cruz Mountains monitored for slides

February 23, 2009 11:41:07 AM PST
With the drenching storms over the weekend and more on the way this week - authorities are alerting people to the increased danger of mud and rock slides in the Bay Area. The CHP is keeping a close eye on the Santa Cruz Mountains.SIGN-UP: Get breaking news sent to you

Highway 17 has been very wet near the summit and there have been a few minor rockslides along the side of the highway.

The real issue is that a lot of the hillsides around the area are bare because of last summer's wildfires. The CHP is monitoring the roadside for hazards.

"People need to wear seat belts and drive at lower speeds. I know that the speed limit is 50 mph, but the safe conditions are probably 40 mph or less. It can get flooded up here, so we want emphasis the need to slow down the speed," said Juan Gonzalez.

Another hazard is falling trees; a large tree fell on Highway 17 on Sunday, it came across both lanes south of Los Gatos. The tree hit a passing vehicle but nobody was hurt. Traffic did back up for hours in both directions.

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