CalTrans mobilizes resources to prepare for incoming storms

With another series of winter storms expected to hit California over the next week, CalTrans is preparing to respond as quickly as possible to any emergency by pre-positioning equipment and personnel at strategic locations.

The department is asking the public to limit nonessential travel during the peak of the storm in affected areas, and to be extremely cautious if travel is necessary. This includes not driving around safety barriers, road closure signs or through flooded areas. As little as one foot of water can sweep a car off the road.

“CalTrans’ priority is the safety of the traveling public and affected communities,” said CalTrans Director Tony Tavares. “We have mobilized all resources and are working with state and local partners to get ready for more severe storms. Please stay off the roads if you can, and always stay alert during difficult conditions.”

CalTrans’ preparation of storm resources includes placing additional staff and emergency contractors on standby; maintaining drainage systems during the storms to avoid blockages and overtopping of roadways; and initiating public outreach to provide up-to-date road information on closures.

When California experienced storms in January and February, CalTrans activated its district emergency operation centers and mobilized more than 4,000 crew members to respond to hundreds of incidents statewide in 12-hour work shifts around the clock.

If you must travel

  • Before you get on the road, go to the CalTrans website, and check QuickMap (quickmap.dot.ca.gov) for real-time traffic information or call (800) 427-ROAD.
  • Because visibility is limited and roads will be slick, drivers should slow down and allow themselves plenty of time to reach their destinations safely.
  • Move over to allow CalTrans crews, California Highway Patrol officers, and other emergency personnel to perform the important tasks needed to keep the roads open and quickly respond to emergencies.
  • Never drive around a safety barrier of any kind or through flooded areas.
  • Be prepared for delays and carry extra food, water, blankets and other essentials, and pack cell phone chargers.