Showers move into region; accidents plague drivers
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (KGO) -- Wicked wind and blustery conditions drove the flames that destroyed a duplex in San Jose overnight Tuesday and threatened four lives. That same storm brought plenty of rain to frustrate morning commuters on Wednesday as dozens of accidents delayed drivers around the bay. And, let it snow. The winter storm is dumping much-needed snow in the Sierra, but drivers do need to carry chains on parts of Interstate 80 and Highway 50.
Rain caused all kinds of problems for drivers Wednesday morning including the tragic death of one man. Police believe he lost control of his vehicle because of the wet roads.
There were so many calls for service during the storm that CHP officers had to leave their assigned areas to help respond. From rollovers, to fenders benders, and a fatal accident, the calls for help seemed endless. "The CHP has been extremely busy all over the Bay Area from Oakland to San Jose, to Redwood City, there's just been on collision after another," said CHP Ofc. Amelia Jack.
Officers believe the fatal accident in San Mateo can be blamed on driving too fast in the wet weather. "The driver's side of the vehicle impacted a metering light pole which, ultimately, the party sustained fatal injuries," Ofc. Jack said.
You would think the rain would have possibly been an asset to firefighters who dealt with a duplex fire in San Jose overnight, but they were actually battling the rain and the fire. "Even when it's raining out or moist outside like it this, the winds can just drive the fire, which is exactly what it did here," explained Capt. Rob Brown.
The roof was on fire when they arrived just after 3 a.m. and it eventually caved in. Firefighters were worried about trying to save the duplex, but they were also concerned about the rest of the neighborhood. "We did also have to have crews deploy downwind, hundreds and thousands of feet downwind to an ember patrol, just checking for the embers, making sure we didn't have any other fires starting on any other shake roofs, things like that downwind," Capt. Brown said.
Four residents of the duplex got out OK and the fire did not spread.
Back on the roads, officers say they think there were so many accidents because drives have bad habits even when it is dry and sunny outside. Add in the rain and they say the problem add up. "People are still doing the same thing. They're tailgating. They're driving too fast. They're in a hurry. And, we always encourage people, leave earlier," Ofc. Jack said.
Ofc. Jack drove home the point. You cannot blame the weather for the problems. You have to blame the drivers who need to adjust how they are driving, especially when the rain is coming down as hard as it did Wednesday morning.
An avalanche adviaory was issued for the Northern Sierra.
redwood city, mountain view, san mateo, I-80, rain, storm, snow, accuweather, amy hollyfield
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