Rain moves into the Valley as large winter storm approaches

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Whenever clouds roll into the Central Valley inventory starts stacking up inside Fresno Ag Hardware.

Store manager Ian Williams knows the importance of watching the weather.

"If there's a storm when the power goes out, we are the people, or you have a leak in your roof, we are the store to come to get your supplies so you are ready and covered."

Forecasts predict the incoming storm will hit flood-prone areas. Williams said he's prepared for his backyard to be submerged and his store is stocked with tarps, pumps, and sandbags to help other families.

"When we do get hit with rain, there tends to be a lot of flooding here and people are under prepared."

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Up in the Sierra, China peak is hoping the rain becomes snow. The ski resort closed its doors for the past three days and hope to reopen this weekend.

"Best case scenario we get two to three feet and we can open up 80-percent of the mountain. Worst case scenario we get more rain than snow and at that point we have to make a decision where it may not be safe enough."

But the moisture is worrying the fire department. Firefighters said rain leads to a buildup of accidents-- with drivers entangled in fender benders

"As soon as it starts to rain visibility gets reduced. You really need to slow down appropriate for conditions. Traffic on the freeway shouldn't be going as fast as it is when it's dry and clear in the summertime," said Captain Brad Driscoll, Fresno Fire Department.

Fresno city crews say they prepare for these storms year round-- cleaning drains and checking pumps. First responders said families should be just as proactive.

"It's really just slowing down all the time and give yourself a little extra time. Make sure Check your wiper blades are in good operating conditions so you get the most visibility you can in reduced visibility," said Driscoll.

The city said they will have crews on standby-- about 30 maintenance workers will be on call.
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