NSSL Podcast

Flash Flood Safety in a Car

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Text Transcript

It's time for yet another podcast of “That Weather Show,” brought to you by the NOAA Weather Partners in Norman, Oklahoma. I'm Rachel Forsyth.

It's raining. Your windshield wipers give you a faint glimpse of the road ahead. You approach a section of the road covered with water. It doesn't appear to be very deep. The truck in front of you makes it through. What should you do, drive through the water or turn around?

Last week, we talked about flash flood preparation for people in low lying areas.  Today, we'll discuss what to do if you are driving and there's water covering the road.

Remember, a flash flood is not something that takes a long time to develop. This is an event that happens quickly.

Did you realize that more than half of all people killed in floods are those in vehicles? They make the poor decision to drive down the flooded road either because the vehicle in front of them makes it or because they think the water doesn't look too deep.

It only takes 18 inches of water to lift your car or SUV. Once your vehicle becomes buoyant; the water will easily push it sideways. Most vehicles will then tend to roll over, trapping those inside and washing them downstream.

If you are driving and the road has water over it, you need to remember this simple saying: “Turn Around – Don't Drown”.  Never drive on a road with water covering it and never drive around barriers blocking a flooded road or it just may cost you your life.

flooded and washed-out roads

Are you sure you know what's under the water? [+]

Thanks for listening to another podcast of “That Weather Show,” brought to you by the NOAA Weather Partners in Norman, Oklahoma. I'm Rachel Forsyth.