Rain and flooding cause chaos on Fresno roads

Rain and flooding causing chaos on Fresno roads on Thursday.

While the rain itself wasn't completely unexpected, the amount of water left on roads caught drivers and law enforcement by surprise.

"I think we were expecting rain all week but this kinda hit us out of nowhere," said Sgt. Lenny Sherman of the California Highway Patrol.

Businesses in southeast Fresno took in water from the streets from above through ceilings.

As drains backed up, Fresno city workers tried to clear water near First and Tulare so cars could get through and not end up like Irving, whose car died during the flooding.

"It puddled up, it goes over the rim, it just sucks it all up. Muffler sucks it up, it goes in the motor and this is what happens," said Irving.

He was leaving his southeast Fresno home when the flooded streets caused his car to take on too much water. Now he's stuck.

The California Highway Patrol received over fifty calls for service once that rain started coming down hard at around 5 p.m. - that doesn't include the calls Fresno Police had to deal with inside the city.

The calls ranged from cars spinning out, to hydroplanning, to crashing into one another on freeways and country roads, leaving law enforcement with their hands full.

"We get close to 60,000 cars through our commute every day so when we get an unplanned incident like this weather, we can get overwhelmed pretty quick. Everybody does a good job but it takes us a while to get there," said Sherman.

And while the flooding was unexpected for so many, to stay safe, it's best to do what's expected of all drivers.

"Slow down, wear your seatbelt, stay off the phone. We say this every time but it's even more critical on a night like tonight," said Sherman.
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