AUSTIN, TX – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) today reminded Texans of the steps they can take to protect their families and property as Flood Safety Awareness Week approaches, which is March 12 – 16.
Especially as heavy rains and strong winds are projected to move through portions of Texas during the next few days, DPS and the National Weather Service are urging people to avoid low water crossings or driving on flooded roadways.
“Since the state has experienced significant drought conditions during the last year, many Texans may not be concerned about the threat of flooding,” said DPS Director Steven C. McCraw. “However, it is important to remember that flooding can occur quickly and cause life-threatening situations, so when water is running across a road, drivers should turn their car around and choose a different road, which will save their lives and their vehicle.”
More than 50 percent of flood-related drownings are vehicle related. Nearly eight out of 10 vehicle-related flood fatalities in Texas occur in the dark – between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. More than two-thirds of flood-related drownings in Texas happen due to flash floods.
Flash flooding involves rising waters that can rapidly become much deeper as a car attempts to cross a flooded area of a street or roadway. Driving at night makes these situations even worse because visibility is limited and it is especially difficult to judge how deep the water may be. Only 6 inches of water can cause tires to lose traction and begin to slide, and 12 inches of water can float many cars.
Saving your life – and your car – is as simple as choosing a different route when you see water across a roadway. So day or night, when there's water on the road, DPS urges you to Turn Around, Don't Drown.