CHP: More crashes than normal during Thursday's soaker

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San Francisco CHP Officer Vu Williams said the soggy Thursday has been busy and the agency has responded to far more crashes than normal.

“It really hasn’t let up at all today,” Williams said. “There have been some points where we haven’t enough officers to cover all the crashes. We’ve had to rely on different agencies.”

Most of the incidents they’ve responded to have been disabled cars or solo car spinouts. He said even the smallest amount of water can cause a car to hydroplane.

The morning commute took the brunt of the road troubles around the bay. A truck carrying roughly 6,000 chickens overturned and kept part of Highway 121 in Sonoma County closed all day.

Flooding temporarily closed the northbound 101 connector ramp in San Francisco and big rig in Fremont crashed into a power pole at Boscell Road and Automall Parkway. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

“The message is always going to be slow down,” Williams said. “Build in a little extra time and be patient.”

He also advises to increase the distance between you and the car in front of you. If you are driving with your windshield wipers on, your headlights must be on too.

The storm tapered off for the evening commute. 

Rain was pouring and wind was gusting in the Bay Area early Thursday morning in an atmospheric river that caused fears of mudslides in the North Bay.

In wine country, residents were concerned the rain would cause sliding on ground that was left without any grass or shrubbery following last month's wildfires, and that toxic ash would spread. But the National Weather Service had canceled the flash flood warning by Thursday morning.

Areas near the Santa Cruz mountains had received more than 2 inches of rain in a 24-hour period, according to KTVU meteorologist Steve Paulson, and many other cities, from Walnut Creek to San Rafael had received about 1 inch of rain. 

Rainy weather and low clouds led to 33 cancellations at San Francisco International Airport, mostly affecting short-haul flights up and down the West Coast, an airport spokesman said this afternoon.

Roughly a quarter of the flights at SFO are also experiencing delays averaging from 45 minutes to an hour, spokesman Doug Yakel said.