Heavy rain and flooding causes safety issues, wrecks across Central Valley

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- One of the first significant storms of the season left Central Valley roads soaking.

Drivers were driving through puddles of water Wednesday, while Fresno city workers raced to clear leaves and debris from storm drains to prevent heavy flooding.

"Our Storm SWAT team is all ready to head out there we are testing pumps but so far so good," said Mark Standriff, City of Fresno.

Throughout the day, first responders were also busy responding to accidents.

An accident in Dinuba left one driver dead after crashing into a power pole, the truck burst into flames before emergency crews arrived.

Hours later, a couple also in Tulare County, was involved in a rain-related accident, crashing a car they purchased earlier in the day.
Authorities say they were getting onto the freeway from the Highway 99 northbound on-ramp at J Street and overturned down an embankment, hitting a guardrail.

RELATED: Caltrans shuts down portion of Highway 140 due to potential for mudslides

It is something Officer Robert Robleto says he has seen all day, "A lot of spinouts people are losing control because of the weather the roads are wet first rains of the year."

The first rains of the season have PG&E crews working around the clock. The utility company is keeping 24-hour staffing in the event of major outages.
"We have a plan, and we ask customers to do the same. Prepare for power outages, make sure cell phones are charged and don't use candles during an outage," said PG&E spokesperson Denny Boyles.

Until then, CHP is warning drivers to be careful on Thursday morning which is when the next storm is expected to roll through.

SEE ALSO: Accuweather Forecast

"For the morning, 5 to 10 miles an hour that you slow down. Might make you 5 to 10 minutes earlier you'll have to leave your house, but you'll be a lot safer," Officer Robleto said.

CHP also says to make sure to check your wiper blades, tire pressure, and tire tread depth before hitting the roads to ensure your vehicle are ready for the inclement weather.
Copyright © 2022 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.