(photo by Brandon Wise)

DOWNTOWN While law enforcement all across Los Angeles were dealing with 240 non-fatal traffic accidents, police here had an easier time during the recent storm that dropped more than 2.5 inches of rain on Santa Monica.

As of 3:15 p.m. Monday, SMPD Sgt. Renaldi Thruston reported three minor traffic collisions with no injuries, one of which was a hit-and-run at around 1:20 p.m. in the 500 block of Santa Monica Boulevard.

Thruston said the department wasn’t being inundated by an unusual amount of activity or emergency calls caused by the weather conditions.

However, because of some nasty weather, a tree fell on a black Volkswagen Golf at 5:10 a.m. at 1017 Fourth St., causing minor damage to the hood.

“The main trunk landed on a black Volkswagen, some smaller branches fell on a Toyota scratching it,” said SMPD Sgt. David Hunske.

Since there wasn’t chaos in the streets, the main concern for residents seemed to be how to stay dry. Some were huddled inside doorways, others were prepared with umbrellas, but some just couldn’t help but get stuck in the rain.

There was nothing they could do for the ice rink on Fifth Street and Arizona Avenue but hang a sign reading: “Closed due to weather.”

It was a slow day for the Santa Monica Fire Department as well, with firefighters spending most of the day waiting for something to do, said SMFD Capt. Scott Ziegert.

“We can’t project, but we’re always in emergency mode,” Ziegert said.

Out on the Santa Monica coast there were no visible threats posed by the intense weather.

“The surf isn’t really huge or abnormally large,” said Capt. Steve Mosely, the operating captain at the Southern Section Lifeguard Headquarters. “All the stuff that’s in the street has built more of a water quality danger than a surf danger.”

Mosely advises swimmers and surfers to remain out of the ocean for 72 hours after a rain shower due to the influx of run-off from city streets, which creates a health hazard.

Residents should brace for another day or two of rain. According to the National Weather Service there is a 30 percent chance of rain today. The service also predicted a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms and rain showers for Wednesday.

The SMPD urges anyone who braves the storm to proceed with caution when driving on wet and slippery roads.

“We like to tell people to allow more time to reach their destinations,” Thruston said. “Drive slower. These roads are more slippery due to the oil on the streets.”


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