Driving in Flash Flood Areas — Turn Around Don’t Drown
With all the flooding in the Houston area, I couldn't help but remember last year when the Red River was cresting and all the flooding in the De Kalb area. At that time I had written something about being careful in flash flood areas and I think it's a good time to remind ourselves to be cautious and to not take chances.
If you are driving, remember to “Turn Around - Don’t Drown." It's that simple. Don't even attempt it. If you can't see the road, there is a chance that the road isn't even there anymore. If there are roadblocks do not go around them. Some people did that in Houston and died. It's not worth it! If officials have closed a road, there is a reason.
According to NOAA's Flash Flood Safety Rules:
Remember, DO NOT drive onto a flooded roadway. DO NOT drive through flowing water. If you approach a roadway that is flooded, TURN AROUND - DON’T DROWN. Drive with extreme caution if roads are even just wet or it is raining. You can lose control of your vehicle if hydroplaning occurs, which is when a layer of water builds up between your tires and the road, causing there to be no direct contact between your vehicle and the road.
Why is “Turn Around - Don’t Drown” so important? Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other severe weather related hazard. The main reason is people underestimate the force and power of water. More than half of all flood related deaths result from vehicles being swept downstream. Of these, many are preventable.
Here is a video that will show you just how fast flooding can cause a serious situation.
You can find more on flood safety at the National Weather Service website.