Spring Rains Can Cause Flooding on Roads
Drivers should take precautions and be alert
The National Weather Service is forecasting an active spring weather pattern of rain showers and thunderstorms that will bring inches of accumulation to Indiana over the next several days. Persistent or heavy rainfall can saturate soils and cause waters to rise, and drivers should take precautions and be alert for hazards.
Keep storm drains clean
When stormwater drains are blocked, waters can rise rapidly and flood roadways. It is important that property owners keep drainage inlets near their property clean and clear of litter and debris to prevent blockages that can cause localized flooding.
Turn around, don’t drown!
Driving into flood waters is one of the most dangerous things drivers can do behind the wheel. Never drive through flooded roadways, especially if the water is moving rapidly, and never drive around barriers warning that the road is flooded.
When encountering a flooded roadway, death and vehicle damage can be prevented by following the simple advice to “Turn around, don’t drown!” According to the National Weather Service, more than half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. Flash floods and floods are the number one cause of deaths associated with thunderstorms, with more than 90 fatalities each year.
The weight of a vehicle in high water will not always keep tires in contact with the road. The water is likely to be deeper than it appears, and it is possible that the roadway could be completely washed out. In addition, most cars can be swept away in less than two feet of moving water. Trucks and SUVs do not fare much better, even with additional clearance. Once a car is buoyant, the force of moving water can push vehicles sideways or upside down, giving passengers little time to escape.