Local

Drivers battle low visibility due to fog

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Travelers aren't the only ones feeling the effects of the fog. Local businesses are too. Drivers along Highway 99 are battling another morning of low visibility.

The fog has no doubt impacted travel over the past few days. And, now businesses are also seeing its effects some good and some bad.

For the seventh day in a row, dense fog is blanketing parts of the Central Valley.

Jerry Banuelos of Easton stopped to get gas last night at Highway 99 and Chestnut. He says it's one of only a few outings he has been on in nearly a week. "Well, usually when you go driving down the road and when you want to go somewhere out of town, you just look at the fog and go okay, obviously we can't go anywhere."

Banuelos isn't alone. Employees at brooks ranch in Selma say the fog has prevented customers from coming in to the popular diner.

Over the past week--they estimate business has declined by nearly fifty percent.

"Fridays we usually close at 9:30 a little later, but we ended up closing at 9." "Cause nobody was here? "Yeah, nobody was here," Sergio Mendez said.

At some places the fog has actually had the opposite effect.

The garage at Travelers Body and Fender Works in Downtown Fresno was bustling Wednesday night.

Gary Ghilotti an estimator with the company says this week's fog has brought them more vehicles than usual thanks to weather related crashes. "Tow trucks, when the fog lifts, there are a lot of tow trucks dropping off cars in here. Yes, we hate to say that but yes, it does enhance our business a little bit."

To avoid ending up in an accident the CHP has these driving tips for the fog:

Drive with lights on low beam to avoid a "white wall" effect. Reduce your speed - and watch your speedometer.

Fog creates a visual illusion of slow motion when you may actually be speeding. Avoid crossing traffic lanes. And travel with the driver's window partially open so you can listen for traffic.

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