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Winter’s first storm causes chaos on Central Coast roadways

Car spinout in rain
Ryan Fish/KEYT

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - The pounding rain that swept through Santa Barbara County Sunday night and through most of Monday left behind debris and soaked roads, sending California Highway Patrol officers scrambling.

“We’ve had some spinouts. A lot of standing water on the roadway in certain places,” said Santa Barbara CHP officer Shannan Sams.

One of those spinouts happened near Vandenberg Air Force base in a steady afternoon rain. The single-car crash sent one person to the hospital with minor injuries.

Caltrans closed one lane of Highway 101 in the Montecito area on Monday after Romero Creek flooded onto the freeway.

“Caltrans was able to excavate a ditch near the highway which allowed the water to flow back to Romero Creek,” said Jim Shivers of Caltrans District 5. “Once that job was completed, we were able to open up the number two lane.”

The Highway Patrol message is familiar, but timely: slow down in wet weather. Officers also say now is the time to check your car, to make sure windshield wipers and all lights are working properly.

“Just make sure you got warm clothes, cell phone just in case you do get disabled and you may be stranded out there for a little bit,” Sams added.

Officers hope the powerful first storm of the season will remind drivers about taking those extra steps.

“We can always get maybe complacent in whatever we’re used to doing, however we’re used to driving,” Sams said. “We don’t get used to driving in the rain. We haven’t had rain in a while. So hopefully this’ll get everybody back into thinking about those [safety measures].”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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Ryan Fish

Ryan Fish is a reporter, sports anchor and forecaster for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Ryan, click here.


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