What will Kern County look like post rain storm?

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KERN COUNTY, Calif. (KGET) — Today, Kern County is expected to get between .50″ and 1.00″ of rain—the most it’s had in the month of October since 2016, according to weather forecasts. But what can we expect tomorrow when the rain stops?

California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer Robert Rodriguez said to expect possible flooding from the foothills into the Arvin and Lamont areas.

“All the water from the foothills is usually expected to come down to the valley,” Rodriguez said. He added that the foothills usually get the most rain, which flows downhill.

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Doug Shupe, AAA public information officer, said if you have to drive on the freeway, try and drive in the middle lanes to avoid the puddling on the outside lanes.

“The puddling could be around for a while even after the rain leaves us,” Shupe said. “That could really impact your driving ability, also impact other vehicles as those large piles of water splashes onto other vehicles.”

Rodriguez also said to be wary of standing water due to hydroplaning.

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Kern County Fire Department (KCFD) Captain Andrew Freeborn warned of the potential for excess flooding, debris flow or mudslides due to the recent French Fire.

“When you have a burn scar, it no longer has the vegetation that would normally absorb that rainfall,” Freeborn said. “Also, the charring that takes place on the surface also makes it difficult for the water to penetrate and be absorbed.”

Rodriguez said they’ve already seen multiple rock slides in the canyon, many minor crashes and a downed power line causing temporary closure of I-5.

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Rodriguez said to expect new potential potholes or sinkholes on the roads, but that they won’t know the full extent of the damage of the storm until tomorrow when the rain clears up and they can asses the damage.

All officials advised to stay inside if possible, and if not, stay informed about where there may be dangerous driving conditions including mud and rock slides or flooding. CHP and KCFD said they are both conducting extra patrols and have extra crews on standby for emergency management.

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