What to Do When You Encounter Flooded Roads

Hurricane Irma has dumped disaster on the state of Florida, knocking out power, damaging infrastructure with strong winds and, of course, flooding the landscape with water.

As you return home after the storm ends, you might encounter flooded roadways. Approach these with caution. While it might be tempting to save time by pushing through flooded roads, even shallow-looking water can carry risks. Even just 12 inches of moving water can sweep a small vehicle off the road.

Here's a few other tips and things to watch for:

  • Avoid bridges over swift-moving floodwaters. Floodwater can wash away foundation materials and make bridges unsafe.
  • If your car gets trapped in still floodwater, abandon your car and move to higher ground.
  • If the floodwater is moving, do not leave your car. Wait as long as you can for help.
  • If you're trapped in moving floodwater and it's becoming unsafe to stay in your car, cut your seatbelt before you escape. By tying a loop in the belt you can create a makeshift safety line up to 30 feet long.

Above all else, don't feel stupid for exercising caution. "Better safe than sorry" might be cliché, but it's still good advice.

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