Rain causes flooding and accidents

March 5, 2009 7:08:29 AM PST
Soaking rain overnight caused a lot of flooding and many accidents. Those puddles are expected to stick around most of Thursday.

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In San Francisco, a CHP officer used her nightstick and even her bare hands in an attempt to clear a clogged storm drain on the ramp that carries southbound 101 from the Central Freeway to Hospital Curve.

A short distance away, heavy rains combined with debris to clog other storm drains on the skyway section of westbound I-80 coming off the Bay Bridge in downtown San Francisco. Other CHP officers used their batons and found a crow bar in their effort to get the water flowing through the drains and out of the lanes. All that water triggered a series of non-injury spinouts.

Across town, police closed the southbound lanes of the Great Highway between Lincoln Way and Sloat Boulevard because of flooding. There's no word on when it will re-open.

In the East Bay, slick roads might have contributed to this injury accident on eastbound I-80 near Gilman Avenue in Berkeley.

Detours may be in store for commuters in the Santa Cruz Mountains on Thursday. Parts of Highway 9 have literally washed away. The ground gave way in the Saratoga Gap area of Highway 9 -- east of Highway 35. Caltrans blames heavy rain and an old culvert for the problem. Westbound lanes are washed out. Repairs are expected to begin on Thursday. One way traffic control is in effect. Drivers are being told to take alternate routes if possible.

In Boulder Creek -- recent rains caused a sink hole that's forced Caltrans to shutdown Highway 236 in both directions. The sink hole is near the Boulder Creek Golf Course about 2.5 miles north of town.

The CHP reminds drivers to watch their speed, and allow a little extra room between you and the car in front of you when the roads are wet.

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