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Getting around Carlsbad safely and conveniently  

Traffic and mobility are always top of mind for the City of Carlsbad, and the city is committed to helping everyone get around the city in a safe and convenient way, whether by foot, car, bike or public transit.

Be safe in the rain

Post Date:03/22/2024

The City of Carlsbad reminds community members to take precautions during heavy rain to stay safe and protect property and the environment.

Before the storm starts

  • Turn off sprinklers to save water and money. Keep them off for two weeks following rain.
  • Pick up pet waste and don't use fertilizers or pesticides before it rains because the extra water can carry these pollutants through our storm drain system to our local lagoons and the ocean.
  • Sweep around your home to prevent debris from getting swept into the street where it could block gutters and cause flooding.
  • Make sure your trash lids are closed completely so they don't blow open and spread trash around the area.
  • Check to make sure your tires are properly inflated.
  • Check your windshield wipers and swap them out if needed. There are many online videos that show how to do this easily.
  • Run any time sensitive errands so you can stay off the road as much as possible during the storm.
  • If your property is prone to flooding, set up sandbags and always keep some on hand. The city provides a limited number to city residents, and county locations also have sandbags available. 

Prepare for high winds

  • Trim tree branches away from your house and power lines.
  • Secure or remove items outside that could cause damage or injury if f they were to be picked up by wind (patio furniture, patio umbrellas, loose gardening items, yard décor, etc.).
  • Secure loose gutters and shutters.
  • Charge batteries of all essential items such as cell phones and external chargers, and power saws, which you might need to clear debris or a fallen tree, in case of a power outage.

Driving in the rain

 Avoid driving in heavy rain conditions but if the trip is necessary:

  • Slow down to avoid getting into an accident. It takes longer to stop when roads are wet. Allow yourself at least an extra 15 minutes or so to arrive at your destination to adjust for slower traffic.
  • Turn on your headlights to see better and make it easier for other drivers to see you. It’s the law.
  • Try to drive toward the middle lanes as water tends to gather in outside lanes.
  • Defog your windows for better visibility. Rain can cause windows to fog up. Along the same lines, check your windshield wipers preferably before it rains again and replace them as needed.
  • Avoid driving through deep water because it can affect your brakes. If you cannot avoid it, test your brakes afterward to make sure they’ve dried out and are working properly.
  • Turn around, don’t drown. In heavy rains, never drive through a flooded roadway if you cannot see the pavement. Even a few inches of water running at the right velocity can sweep a car, and even a truck, and its occupants off the roadway and downstream. The same tip applies to trying to walk or swim across a flooded roadway. Watch this video for more tips.
  • Give the cars in front of you extra distance. The spray from their vehicles — particularly from larger trucks and buses — can hamper your vision. And giving extra space to the driver in front of you also gives you more time to brake if you need to.
  • Keep calm, don’t oversteer or stomp on the brakes if you start to hydroplane or skid when your tires lose traction with the wet road. The Department of Motor Vehicles says keep the steering wheel straight and take your foot off the accelerator so your vehicle can slow down slowly.
  • Stay focused. Remember, it’s illegal, and dangerous, to try to text or use a hand-held cell phone when you’re driving.
  • Slow down for the cone zone if you see crews working and use extra caution.

Stay informed. Monitor the weather and the news.

To report flooding, call 442-339-2197, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To report an issue with roads or blocked storm drains, call 442-339-2980. For immediate threats to public safety, property or the environment, call 9-1-1.

More information
National Weather Service San Diego
County of San Diego tips to stay safe in heavy rains, flooding
SDG&E tips to stay safe during a storm


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