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Strong winds throughout Coachella Valley affect local businesses and drivers

Strong winds are making their way through the Coachella Valley, and some businesses are making changes to work around the weather.

The owner of a local roofing company tells me he's planning to pause all projects this weekend because of the winds.

The high winds continue to be an inconvenience for drivers and people hoping to spend some time outdoors.

That happens to be the case for Desert Roof Concepts owner, Albert Melara.

Melara says, "This weekend, we've actually just stopped all of the jobs that we have going on for this weekend. So we're actually going to be starting on Monday, and that is tentatively.” 

He says once winds exceed a certain speed it's no longer safe for his employees and his clients.

"You want to make sure that they're properly harnessed, if you're on a, you know, a steep roof, they can fall. So it just depends on the miles per hour per win, that can affect your workers," shares Melara.

The winds can also blow away lightweight materials, "We do a lot of polyurethane foam. So the foam, half of your material might actually go on the roof and the other half might be at your neighbor's house. So you definitely want to be aware of the situations that you're in," says Melara.

You can see Melara and his team on a Palm Springs rooftop Friday afternoon, but they still experienced strong gusts earlier in the day.

"There's some mountains right behind us that are kind of helping us out in this particular location. Because earlier on we were in Cathedral City, and it was a lot windier than it is right here, right now.” 

Melara was telling me that halting projects can be especially tricky in the Coachella Valley because there are a lot of vacation rentals throughout the area, and they have a shorter window to complete projects.

Winds are affecting drivers as well.

Whenever we have strong winds throughout the Coachella Valley we want to remind our drivers to take precautions and be safe on the roads.

Triple A Spokesperson, Doug Shupe, says all cars should be careful in windy conditions, but larger cars like vans, SUVs, trucks and buses should be extra cautious.

Those vehicles have a larger surface area and can be pushed around more easily by winds.

Smaller cars are still at risk, and all drivers should be aware of their surroundings.

They can prepare for driving in windy conditions by doing the following.

"They need to be cautious as well, by keeping their tires properly inflated, keeping a firm grasp on the steering wheel, not over correcting if they get slightly pushed over, and keeping plenty of distance should something blow in front of them on the freeway," says Shupe.

Shupe also stressed the importance of not driving while distracted.

That means avoiding eating, changing the radio station, talking to other passengers and staying off your smartphone.

A gust of wind can cause some big problems if you're not alert. It's important that you focus on the road ahead of you.

Lastly if you ever get caught in a sandstorm don't be afraid to pull over and wait it out until you can see the road.

You can turn on your headlights and your emergency lights and wait for better conditions.

Stay up to date with the latest weather updates here.

You can also see what winds looked like during this morning's newscasts here.

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Bianca Ventura

Bianca Ventura joined KESQ News Channel 3 as a reporter in February 2022.


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