Loads of accidents Friday because of rain

Modesto police saw "wrecks galore" Friday as the city felt its first significant, steady rain of the season, said Lt. Jolene Gonzales, but weather services report that the weekend will be sunny and clear.

Between 6:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., there were 16 noninjury accidents, two injury accidents and three hit-and-run collisions in Modesto, police Lt. Andy Schlenker said.

"It's fender-bender stuff," Schlenker said. "Everybody just needs to slow down and take their time when it's raining. They need to get used to obscured vision and increased stopping time on slick roadways."

The Modesto Irrigation District reported that 0.63 inches of rain fell in the city by midnight and 0.56 inches fell at Modesto Reservoir. It was the wettest Oct. 12 since the MID began recording rainfall in 1888. The previous record was 0.22 inches in 1968.

The Public Works Department closed one lane of Tully Road near Stoddard Avenue behind Modesto Junior College because of flooding Friday evening. Numerous streets and intersections throughout the area were flooded as drains tried to collect the rainwater.

Temperatures today are predicted to hit 66 degrees, with a low of 51. The forecasting service Weather Underground called for a 50 percent chance of rain until 5 a.m., but no likelihood of rain after that. Sunday likely will warm up to 72 degrees; no rain is expected.

Schlenker reminded drivers that posted speed limits don't take weather conditions into account. Depending on how hard it's raining, he said, drive at least 5 mph slower than suggested speeds.

"The rain is just another factor in people's driving habits that needs to be taken into consideration. It's another distraction for the driver."

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