WILLITS, 11/27/19 -- In an unusual move signalling the severity of the this storm, the California Highway Patrol's Humboldt division is asking people to stay off the roads unless necessary until the worst of the storm passes. That office alone has received 362 calls today, almost 3 times their regular volume and there have been dozens of accidents, big and small, across the region since winter weather finally returned to California earlier today.
The National Weather Service has seconded that advice, recommending people delay travels till late Wednesday or even Thursday. Especially in Humboldt, Trinity, and Del Norte counties conditions are very hazardous, and some mountain passes have been closed due to snow.
Here is the message from
HUMBOLDT AREA WEATHER CAUSING MAJOR TRAVEL DELAYS
Arcata, CA – Since early Tuesday morning, the Humboldt Area has begun dealing with high winds, rain, ice and snow. These elements have combined to create extremely hazardous driving conditions throughout Humboldt County, and extend into Del Norte, Trinity and Mendocino Counties. The CHP is asking all drivers to avoid traveling while the conditions still exist, unless it is necessary. As of 10:30 PM on Tuesday, the Humboldt Communications Center has received approximately 362 calls for service. By comparison, on Monday our dispatch center received approximately 134 calls for service. Most of the calls received this evening and tonight are for debris (trees, limbs, rocks, poles) in the roadway. The power is also out around many parts of Humboldt County, creating darker roadways and less ability to observe these hazards in the road. If you feel you must leave your house and drive somewhere, please use caution and drive at a reduced speed. This is the number one way to maintain control of your vehicle on a hazardous roadway and to minimize your chances of being involved in a collision.
And please remember to never drive through standing water. You never know how deep the water is, and what may be lurking beneath the surface. Also, remember to leave plenty of space between you and all other vehicles on the road, as stopping distance increases exponentially.
If you come across an impassable hazard in the roadway, or you become disabled in the roadway, take the following precautions:
1) If possible, attempt to drive the vehicle off the highway to a safe location.
2) If you can’t exit the highway, pull to the shoulder, safely away from the traffic lanes.
3) If you are disabled in the lane, make your vehicle as visible as possible by activating your hazard lights.
4) Either remain in your vehicle, with your seatbelt properly fastened, and call 911. Or safely exit your vehicle and move to the shoulder away from oncoming traffic (behind a guardrail or up an embankment away from traffic).
Remember to SLOW DOWN and arrive alive. Patience and courteousness can sometimes get you a lot further down the road than a fast car might get you there.CHP