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Officials Urge Drivers To Slow Down, Use Headlights With Windshield Wipers As Rain Hits SoCal

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A storm that has dumped several inches of rain in Northern California has headed south, and authorities have a few reminders for motorists who are back on the road after a pandemic who may have not seen wet roadways in a while.

Southern California is not expected to get as much rainfall as Northern California has already received. But any precipitation on the dry roadways and street drainage systems can bring oils up from the pavement and flood streets, making driving even more hazardous than usual.

Capt. Tom Henzgen of the Los Angeles Fire Department said the waterways in LA are more dangerous than people realize

"Six inches of water moving at the right speed can sweep a person off their feet," said Henzgen Monday.

He added just two feet of moving water can move a truck.

"Water hits those wheels and it displaces a car and now they're headed downstream in their car," Henzgen said.

California Highway Patrol's Central LA division tweeted out video of the already slick freeways around Staples Center at about 7:45 a.m. Monday and reminded drivers what they should do in inclement weather.

"Please remember to buckle up, turn on your headlights, use your windshield wipers, maintain a safe distance, & SLOW DOWN -SLOW DOWN-SLOW DOWN !!!!!" the CHP tweeted.

It was sentiment echoed by Caltrans, who predicted that first responders will be busy all day.

Southern Californians' infamous inability to drive in wet weather was lightly lampooned on Twitter. Self-professed Tesla fan Jilliane Parker posted a video, saying she was hoping she would not risk her Safety Score of 99 by driving in the rain Monday.

"With my score of 99, I'm a little nervous I might lose my score, because if you've ever been to Los Angeles, or ever driven in Los Angeles during the rain, you can attest that Angelenos do not know how to drive in the rain," she said.

Still others had blunt advice – just stay home.

Rainfall reached Ventura and Los Angeles counties by late morning, with the system moving into the Orange County and Inland Empire by mid-afternoon. The National Weather Service warned that the evening commute for those areas could get "a bit dicey," so they urged drivers to plan accordingly.

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