Don't forget how to drive in the rain during these messy commutes

Rain made a messy commute for folks heading home Monday evening. The rain is much needed, but is definitely causing problems and the forecast indicates there's more to come Tuesday morning.

Standing water on roadways is often an unavoidable hazard on a rainy day. Red brake lights are a common sight as stop and go set the pace for the evening commute.

"Everything is just slow. Everybody forgot how to drive, I would say,” said Gary Eng of San Leandro.

Whether it was on the freeway or city streets, traffic was heavy. Drivers say they were extra alert to their surroundings

Motorcyclist Pat Reynolds of San Bruno says he's riding defensively and he points to his helmet to say," The visibility; there's no windshield wiper on this you know."

CHP said it has received five times the normal number of service calls because of the weather.

"It's one of the bigger storms of the year, so people aren't used to the standing water, so it's an adjustment period, " says CHP Sgt. Mike Wright.

The adjustment meant many minor accidents. In Sonoma County in Shellville, a big rig went off the roadway on Highway 116. No one was injured.

In San Francisco on Market Street near Church, a SF Public Utilities  (SFPUC) crew used a Vac-Con truck that works like a giant vacuum cleaner to clear catch basins that are eight-feet deep. There are 25,000 catch basins throughout the city.

"It's like painting the Golden Gate Bridge. By the time you're done, you have to start painting again. It's a lot of work," Jean Walsh, a SFPUC spokeswoman, says.

Crews say it's usually debris and leaves that clog the drains and cause flooding.

SFPUC is asking for the public's help if anyone sees a catch basin that's blocked.

"If people can brush it with their feet and get those leaves aside and let that water drain. It really helps out," says Walsh.

You could be behind the wheel or walking, but either way, just know that it'll take extra time.
"I always wake up in the morning and dread it and try to get up earlier because I know it's going to take much longer," says Suddha Thanuwala of San Mateo.

CHP is advising people to leave earlier Tuesday morning and lengthen the distance between yourself and the car in front of you.