Did you know that almost half of deaths related to floods happens in a vehicle? A representative from the National Weather Service stated, "People underestimate the force and power of water. Many of these deaths occur in automobiles that are swept downstream. Many of these drownings are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded".
The road bed beneath the flood could be severely damaged and it's impossible to tell the exact depth of the water or the condition of the surface beneath. This is why you should NEVER attempt to drive through a flooded road. Remember that it only takes a few feet of water to carry away a vehicle. This includes trucks and SUVs.
The National Weather Service's campaign, "Turn Around, Don't Drown", attempts to educate individuals of just how dangerous a few inches of water can be. Any time you come to a flooded road, walkway or path, remember to "Turn Around, Don't Drown".
Should you find yourself in a scenario where no reasonable alternative exists but to drive through the water, safety officials recommend that you:
- Do your best to estimate the depth of the water.
- Drive slowly and steadily through.
- Watch for items traveling downstream that could trap or crush your vehicle.
- Test your brakes on a clear patch of road at low speeds after driving through water up to the wheel rims or higher to ensure they're dry and working properly.
- Keep in mind that if your vehicle stalls in the deep water and you're forced to restart, irreparable damage could occur to the engine.
- Immediately abandon your vehicle and head for higher ground if you can't restart and become trapped in rising water. Try to open the door or roll down the window to exit, and call 911 or try to get the attention of someone nearby to call for help.
County Manager's Office