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Countywide : Drivers Slip Up in Season's First Rain

October 05, 1994|THAO HUA

The first rain of the season caught many county residents by the tails of their cars.

The drizzle was blamed for about 40 car accidents reported Tuesday in the county, mostly fender-benders, California Highway Patrol Public Affairs Officer Joan Rivas said. "People are driving as if it's sunny and dry, and they just can't do that," Rivas said.

The light showers were expected to continue today with a slight chance of rain Thursday, according to WeatherData. Today's temperatures were expected to reach a high in the mid-70s and a low in the upper 60s.

For the 24 hours ended at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, rainfall totaled .25 of an inch in Fullerton and Anaheim. Countywide it ranged down to less than .10 of an inch and up to a high of 1.26 inches at the foot of Santiago Peak.

Rivas suggested that motorists pay more attention to their driving and slow down during rainfall. If a car spins out of control, he said, the driver should get off the gas pedal and steer to the shoulder or center divider of the road--without slamming on the brakes.

"The roads are very oily from the first substantial rainfall," said Costa Mesa Police Lt. John Fitzpatrick, who counted 10 crashes in the city by early Tuesday afternoon. "Not just wet--there's actually oil that comes up from the summertime."

At the Orange County Water Districts, the rain was more welcome.

"Everything's so dry that you'll need a more appreciable amount of rainfall to make a difference in the ground water basin and reservoir system," said district spokesman Jim Van Haun. "But (Tuesday) was a nice start to the season."

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