As more than five inches of rain fell in a five-day period between Feb. 13 and Sunday, emergency crews had their hands full trying to keep Scotts Valley and SLV residents safe and keep roads clear.
According to data from the National Weather Service, winds were steady throughout the period, gusting from 24 miles an hour on Feb. 13 and 14. Almost three and a half inches of rain fell the first day, more than two the following day and rain continued to fall steadily until Sunday.
The Scotts Valley Fire Department responded a steady stream of calls for electrical wires down, trees down and traffic accidents because of the heavy rain and wind from the storm surge that came ashore last week. One firefighter said the companies were “out pretty much nonstop” for days.
“Numbers in January were more than double our call volume,” a department spokesman said Tuesday about the calls for service. “We’re kind of on pace to hit that again in February.”
Jim Shivers with Caltrans said the department dealt with a number of emergencies last week. On Feb. 13 Highway 17 was closed at Sugarloaf Road because of a mudslide. That same day, downed trees and power wires closed State Route 236 for hours.
On Feb. 14 the connecter from Highway 1 to northbound Highway 17 was closed when a car ran into a tree and both north- and southbound lanes of State 9 were closed at 236 because of more downed power lines. Valentine’s Day also saw southbound Highway 17 shutdown yet again just south of Summit Road when a tree crashed down onto a car on the highway.
The Scotts Valley Fire Department said Tuesday that they just want everyone to slow down when weather events like that hit the area or even reconsider whether they need to be on the road at all.