VIDEO: Rare June rain falls in the South Bay

(Rob Fladeboe/KRON4)

 

SANTA CLARA COUNTY (KRON) — June Gloom making has arrived in the Bay Area and nowhere is that more apparent than in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

On Highway 17, the gloom included rain showers that have persisted for much of the day causing the usual problems. Commuters on Highway 17 are used to coping with the hazards associated with wet weather, but it’s not supposed to happen in June.

It is safe to say that the rain and the slick roads caught some drivers by surprise. An ambulance raced to the scene of a crash just north of the summit. Southbound traffic slows to a crawl.

Southbound traffic slows to a crawl.

Gustavo Garcia told KRON4 the pavement was like ice as he came around a sharp curve.

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Neither Garcia nor his passenger was hurt, but his truck has a smashed front end. The windshield is shattered and both airbags deployed.

On the way back down the hill, I came upon another single vehicle spinout. Again, no one hurt.

Still weary from coping with mudslides and nightmare traffic jams last winter, regular commuter Art Mendez offered some advice.

“It’s really dangerous and the road is slippery, so if you’re going to be driving up here, it might be a good idea to out your phone down,” Highway 17 commuter Art Mendez said.

Amid several mostly minor fender benders and spinouts, visibility was also poor on and approaching the summit. But not so poor one can’t see how this and other signs are once again lit up to warn drivers that it’s probably a good idea to slow down.

Garcia, who can’t believe his truck didn’t flip as it bounced off both the guard rail and the center divide, says he was lucky.

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“It could have been a lot worse,” Garcia said. “It’s just a good thing there wasn’t somebody right behind me or one of us might have been hurt.”

The good news is that the rain drizzle mostly is all but gone and pavement is fairly dry now for the evening commute.

It is just another chapter in the never-ending saga of driving over the hill.

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