Rain causes hazardous driving conditions over Highway 17

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KGO) -- Fog, rain, and slick roads can make for a dangerous combination.

Highway 17 through the Santa Cruz Mountains at times felt like obstacle course Thursday as multiple drivers became caught up in accidents and/or spinouts, which caused major delays for those behind them.

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ABC7 News spoke to one couple visiting from Michigan who made the trek to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. They came prepared in the event of a downpour.

"Umbrellas, rain gear, (and) I brought my rain boots as well," said Detroit-area resident, Debbie Lusky. "Nothing was going to stop us from doing what we wanted to do today."

Boardwalk employees enjoyed a break from the rain Thursday afternoon as they prepared for the start of 'Spring Break at the Boardwalk' this weekend.

"It's a little wet but we needed the rain," said Marq Lipton, Santa Cruz Boardwalk vice president of marketing. "Next week it's supposed to clear out and it'll be another wonderful season here at the beach."

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Back on the valley floor, all of the Santa Clara Valley Water District's sandbag stations have been fully-stocked for residents. Maintenance workers are also ready to respond with heavy equipment to clear any downed trees or large debris flows.

"They've been doing the rounds to make sure if there's any blockages, that they can remove them, but we haven't heard of any significant problems today," said Marty Grimes, Santa Clara Valley Water District spokesman.

The district's ten water supply reservoirs are currently at one-third of their full capacity, meaning there should be enough space to capture any run-off from this week's storm.

Although the rain itself isn't always fun, workers with the water district say conservation is still top of mind.

"We don't know if next year is going to be another dry year, or this could be the beginning of another multi-year drought," says Grimes. "We really don't know."

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