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Recent storm damage "not as bad" as 2017 aftermath

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. - Widespread rain made this week a busy one for emergency responders on the Central Coast. Staff at Monterey County Public Works said it was nothing compared to what they saw this time last year.  

There was a lot of repair work that happened after last year’s heavy storms, and this means drains and other public infrastructure work a lot better now.

However, Highway 17 was a mess with collision after collision.

CHP Santa Cruz officers said they saw 16 weather related traffic accidents which is just a handful more than average. Same goes for CHP Monterey.  

CHP Officer Michael Orta said, "not too bad. We saw probably about five more crashes (yesterday) than we'd like to see."

That’s because while the storm was a good soaker, it was not as extreme compared to those in 2017 and last year's rain actually help emergency crews prepare for this round.

Monterey County Department of Public Works Sean Atkins said, "We've done a lot of drainage work in the spring and summer of (last) year as well, and that really helped out a lot. Last winter storm had put sediments in all of the drainage systems and they were pretty clear."

Plus, the drier winter we are having meant fewer fallen trees.

Atkins said, "we did have some good wind yesterday evening but because the ground wasn't saturated, we didn't have those threes falling"

But with more wet weather expected, emergency responders are again reminding drivers of road safety.

Orta said, "Make sure that your windshield is in good order. You also need to slow down and increase the following distance between you and the car in front of you. Also turn on your headlights."

CHP officers said they just can’t emphasize enough that people need to drive slower because the roads are slippery and the rain makes visibility much lower.


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