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Turn around: don’t drive over flooded roads

Staff Report • Jan 17, 2013 at 8:43 AM

“Turn Around, Don’t Drown” is the cautionary statement seen on signs posted near some local roads that are prone to flooding. It’s good advice, but authorities say it is too often ignored by motorists.

Never, we repeat, never drive over a road or bridge that is covered by flood waters. Seems like a no-brainer, right? But law enforcement officials say you’d be surprised by how many drivers find themselves trapped in their cars (or worse) during rain events like the one we have seen the last few days.

More Americans are killed annually from flooding than from any other weather-related hazard. Weather officials say most flood deaths occur at night and when people become trapped in cars that stall on flooded roads. Flash floods are the deadliest because they can happen in a short period of time, generally less than six hours.

Areas of the Upstate are most susceptible to flash flooding from mountain streams and rivers. If the National Weather Service issues a flood watch, residents living in the affected area should check flood action plans, keep informed and be ready to take action if a warning is issued or flooding is observed.

If you encounter a flood-covered road, turn around. It’s simple advice that could save your life.

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