Travelers Urged to Prepare for Upcoming Storms

SACRAMENTO -- Travelers will encounter slick roads over the Thanksgiving holiday as back-to-back winter-like storms arrive in Northern California.

The National Weather Service is predicting more than an inch of rain in the Valley, between 2 and 5 inches throughout much of the foothills and up to a foot of snow at the 7,000-foot elevation in the Sierra between Wednesday and Friday.

The first storm arrives Wednesday. Then there will be a break between storms during the day on Thanksgiving.

FOX40 found people in Sacramento using the last few hours of daylight Tuesday to prepare for the storms. Among them was Larry Valine, clearing the leaves out of his gutters and away from storm drains. He didn't mind the work.

"I'm very excited about the rain," Valine said. "We do the Run to Feed the Hungry. So we're looking forward to having clear air with that rain to help both the smoke here in the Valley, as well, obviously, as the people up there really dealing with the fire."

As for those traveling by car for Thanksgiving, the California Highway Patrol is urging caution. Road surfaces are extra slippery during the first rain. Drivers are advised to slow down and allow extra following distance between cars.

"Doing 65 sometimes when it's raining really hard is an unsafe speed," cautioned Newcastle CHP Officer David Martinez.

Drivers are reminded to check that their windshield wipers and washer fluid are in good shape. Those traveling over Sierra passes should have chains or four-wheel drive with snow tires.

"Sometimes the roads do get shut down without notice and you could be in there for a while," Officer Martinez said regarding winter mountain travel. "So prepare yourself. Water, food, snacks, warm clothing just in case that happens."

For businesses that depend on stormy weather, the approaching storms are glorious news.

"We're snow farmers," said Steve Clark of Clark's Snow Sports. "And when the crop hits, then we get busy."

Clark's has been open since September. Now that the forecast is finally changing, business is picking up.

"Definitely more people coming into the store," Clark observed. "A lot of people getting tunes and waxes, getting their gear ready, buying new equipment. So yeah, people are thinking about it."

Clark's just opened a new location in Auburn, optimistic that nature will soon make up for a slow start to the snow season.

"They're saying one, maybe 3 feet," he said, excited about the Thanksgiving holiday forecast. "So we're hoping for 3 feet."