With rising water comes the danger of flooded streets. We all see the stranded motorist who has entered a flooded street and then was either caught in the middle or swept up downstream. It is important that if you see flooding during your drive that you are aware of your surroundings, be on the lookout for barricades. Never cross a flooded roadway.
The National Weather Service has created an educational program called Turn Around Don’t Drown®. That program is aimed at reducing the amount of flood-related drownings due to driving into hazardous flood water. According to the National Weather Service, the main reason drivers are swept up in flooded areas is that they underestimate the power of the moving water. “A mere six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles.” Most drivers will not know the true depth of most flooded areas, even those that you are most familiar with.
If you become trapped in a vehicle due to flooding contact emergency services for assistance. Your vehicle will stall if the water reaches a certain level and restarting the engine may cause irreparable damage. Emergency services will let you know if you should exit your vehicle. Stay calm and assist your passengers when necessary.
West Virginia has seen its fair share of flooding due to the weather, including North Central West Virginia. Although state and local officials work tirelessly to prevent our roadways from being flooded, it is imperative that you be on guard for danger zones. We suggest that you pay attention to the weather forecast and prepare yourself before traveling on the roadways. Avoid areas that are prone to flooding, including low spots and low bridges. Flooded roadways are also very slick and could pose a threat to even the most cautious of drivers.
If by chance your vehicle becomes damaged due to flooding or other weather related incidences, you will need to contact your insurance company. If you are involved in an accident with another driver, get necessary medical attention, then protect your rights. And remember Turn Around Don’t Drown®.
Source: National Weather Service
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