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Caltrans crews prepare for incoming storm

Caltrans prepares for rain that will impact people who work outdoors

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.-Fruit stands have colorful umbrellas intended to protect workers and customers from sun rather than rain.

George Martinez works at a stand off E. Gutierrez Street in Santa Barbara near Ace Hardware.

Cloudy days are slow.

"Money fades away with everyday expenses such as groceries then comes the rent, bills, and the money just slowly fades away," said Martinez.

The roads nearby are filling up with potholes with each passing storm.

Neighbors are hoping this next storm won't be as bad as the last.

Jon Marinello lives near Old Coast Highway that flooded last Tuesday near the Municipal Tennis and Pickleball Center.

"I don't anticipate a lot of flooding there tomorrow, some, but there was more last week," said Marinello.

Some flooded signs remain along the 101 through Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara County.

They may come in handy again this week..

Caltrans Public Information Officer Alexa Bertola said they are prepared.

"Our equipment is already prepositioned out in the field," said Bertola, " Now, this allows for quicker response  to flooding downed trees and possible slides and rock fall."

She said Caltrans will be keeping an eye on Highway 1 near Orcutt , Highway 135 in Los Alamos, the 101 through Santa Barbara and the 154 where rocks have fallen into the road during recent storms.

Under the current Flood Watch people are being asked by first responders to avoid flood prone areas.

Construction projects including the round-a-bout on Coast Village Road could get behind schedule if it continues to rain this Spring.

Crews are using tarps, sandbags and wattles, that absorb water, to protect their projects.

Bertola said Caltrans crews don't work on projects during the rain.

Martinez said he won't be working in the rain either.

"Because of the rain we don't work, the rain effects us because when it rains we can't go outside," said Martinez, "We can't do much but that is God's plan."

Outdoor workers say their income depends on the forecast.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here


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