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Rainfall makes road rough for drivers

Posted: October 5, 2011 7:31 a.m.
Updated: October 5, 2011 7:31 a.m.

Firefighters hold an umbrella over a woman as she is loaded onto a gurney after she lost control of her SUV in heavy rain on northbound Interstate 5, went down an embankment and through a fence ending up on Castaic Road near Tapia Canyon Road in Castaic on Wednesday morning.

Rain-drenched roadways kept emergency-response crews busy Wednesday with traffic collisions across the county, including at least a half-dozen in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Across Los Angeles County, at least two people died in collisions that occurred throughout the day as the first storm of the season hit Southern California early.

“We’ve had a couple of fatalities on the freeways,” said Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Department, adding neither of the deaths occurred in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Paramedics with the Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to more than 100 traffic accidents across the county, said county fire Inspector Quvondo Johnson.

“Any time it rains here in Southern California, the amount of calls we get goes up, for whatever reason,” Johnson said.

A National Weather Service report showed slightly more than 1 inch of rain had fallen on the Santa Clarita Valley by noon.

“The roads are slick. We haven’t had rain in a little while,” Johnson said.

In the Santa Clarita Valley, morning motorists encountered several mishaps believed to be rain-related.

Cars flipping, cars into utility poles, cars into each other and cars spinning out — ending up in the wrong direction — were some of the calls officers of the California Highway Patrol received Wednesday morning as rain made the morning commute treacherous.

“We’re very busy. It’s been raining all day,” said CHP Officer John Lutz. “We have a lot of collisions we have to respond to.”

Shortly after 7 a.m., CHP officers received a report of a motorist whose car hit a utility pole on Ridge Route Road, just south of Lake Hughes Road.

Emergency crews responding to the incident reported “live wires” across the road and on top of the vehicle.

Shortly before 8 a.m., CHP officers responded to a Ford that reportedly rolled over four times when the motorist apparently lost control in the northbound lanes, just south of Lyons Avenue.

At 10:25 a.m., a white Toyota Corolla also overturned on The Old Road, near Calgrove Boulevard.
CHP officers responding to the incident reported there was standing water on the roadway at the scene.

Flooding was also reported by highway officers in the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 at Templin Highway.

The National Weather Service forecasts a 20-percent chance of showers across the Santa Clarita Valley today. The day’s high is expected to be near 65 degrees.

Local residents also can expect wind gusts of up to 15 mph from the northwest.


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