“Remember the Coachella Valley is below sea level. It’s always flood prone. There's so many areas out there that can flood very quickly. So streets in the Coachella Valley flood immediately" said Captain Fernando Herrera with the Riverside County Fire Department and Cal Fire.
There are a few things to remember as storms pass through the valley. The first, never drive through flooded waters or ignore barricaded roadways. Herrera said, "We always have issues with folks that do not adhere to road closures. If there is a barricade please drive around it don’t drown is the slogan we always use." There can be different trash, debris, erosion, or a manhole cover lifted off in the road that you can't see. If you find yourself in a flooded road and are unable to get out, call 911.
Paying attention to the roads and making sure you are defensive driving is important. Herrera emphasized to slow down and reduce speed below the speed limit. Usually, when driving you should have a distance of one to two cars in front of you. When there is wet weather that distance should be doubled.
The snow level will drop to 4,500 ft. For the people living in mountain communities, it's important to remember to use chains when needed and check road conditions if you are planning on leaving your home. You can do this by visiting the websites of California Highway Patrol and CalTrans.
Herrera said to pay attention to any warnings that are issued, "Things can change very rapidly and we can find ourselves in a situation where we will have a severe impact to roadways because of flooding or possible debris flow. So people need to be ready to head the warning and leave early if you receive those type of warnings.”
Keep up with your KESQ News Channel 3's First Alert weather team by downloading the First Alert Weather App. News Channel 3's Taban Sharifi will have more coverage tonight at 5, 6, and 6:30 p.m.