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Sloshy start to the year, with more ahead

It didn’t take much rain, after a short dry spell, to send drivers sideways on some local roads if they weren’t ready for the conditions.

This morning there were reports of vehicles over the side on Highway 1 west of Gaviota, and on Highway 101 south of the rest stop in the same area.

At the southbound Los Carneros on ramp an SUV spun out and went over the side about 10:30 a.m. It is the same spot where another SUV flew off the embankment December 15.

The driver in today’s accident survived the rollover without a serious injury. The other driver, last month was taken to a hospital.

The California Highway Patrol says entering the turn too fast at this ramp can be a factor in these crashes.

“Right, just as he accelerates or is coming from the road way at a high rate of speed. Then as he is accelerating on the ramp the rear end of his car will tend to slide,” said CHP Patrol Officer Michael Sims. He urged drivers to adjust their speed and their driving habits to the road conditions. Sims also said take a walk around your car to check the condition of your tires, wipers, lights and everything that is necessary for safe driving.

In downtown Santa Barbara, some shoppers had umbrellas. Some had hoodies. Some had less. Cal Poly student Colin Eaton was in a school sweatshirt. When asked if he had an umbrella nearby, he said, “didn’t even pack one on the way down.”

A worker coming out of her office had an umbrella and several layers of rain gear on. Allejandra Reyes was doing a “snapchat” of the rain and her walk through it for social media. “I am loving it,” she said. “I just came back from Aspen, Colorado. I had to purchase some gear so it was the best investment. So I am ready, yes!”

Kacie Gile just came back from Wisconsin and said this weather compared to there was, ” so much worse. It’s freezing blizzards. My family Christmas got canceled because of the blizzards.”

A former Connecticut resident, Joselyn Tuft said California drivers have problems with the rain. “It’s very funny. I tell them don’t be scared to drive in the rain or the snow.” She was with family members downtown sharing an umbrella and enjoying the rain instead of staying inside. (Please check back here for more video and information later today)

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