How to Drive in a Flood
Recent rainfall and storms have caused flooding in and around the Mt. Airy area. Whether you believe in global warming or not, weather statistics are showing that 2015 is going to be the hottest year in recent history. Weather forecasters are claiming that a Godzilla El Nino will disrupt weather patterns and cause an above average amount of rainfall this fall and winter. This means possible flooding in many areas.
Here are some tips to keep you safe during heavy rainfall and flash floods:
Prepare for Floods Ahead of Time: Sometimes, we are driving and it begins to downpour. A flash flood can spring up out of nowhere. Consider keeping a safety kit packed in your car for emergencies. The kit should include maps, flares, a flashlight, a spare radio, canned food, and drinking water.
Driving in a Flood Tips:
Estimate how deep the water is before you try to drive through it. Look at road signs and other things along the road to estimate the level of the water. Did you know that just 6 inches of water can damage your engine and lead to stalling? A car can also start to float in as little as 12 inches of water. If you think the standing water is more than 6 inches, turn around and find another route.
Slow Down when you are approaching standing water. If you must drive through water, do so cautiously. Turn off your A/C or heat to prevent the external fan sucking up water. If there are other cars around, let each car pass through the water one at a time.
Look for Downed Power Lines. Do not attempt to drive through standing water if you see downed power lines.
Respect Barricades. If you come to a road barricade- do not attempt to go around it. These barricades are there for your protection. Most likely the road that has been barricaded is a known flood zone or emergency workers have already had to rescue someone from that spot. There could be road damage that makes it unsafe to pass.
Get Out of the Car if you get stuck in standing water. If you try to drive through water and get stuck, do not stay in your car. In as little as a foot of water, your vehicle can float away. Also, water can seep into your vehicle. It is best to seek higher ground and wait for emergency workers.
At Mt. Airy Toyota and Scion, we want you to be safe this fall and winter. Remember you can always turn around and go a different way if you are unsure. Also, driving a vehicle that is higher can help during extreme weather. We recommend the Toyota Tacoma or Toyota Highlander- both have four-wheel drive and sit higher off the road than a sedan.