Flash flooding is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in Texas. As little as six inches of water can float some vehicles. This
includes pickups and SUVs. When approaching a flooded roadway motorists should Turn Around, Don't Drown.
With Tropical Storm Edouard making landfall and moving through Texas today, it's really important that TxDOT stresses to motorists the dangers of driving during flooding conditions. The incredible power of water is unrealized by most motorists during flooding conditions.
Motorists should do the following during flooding conditions:
- Never try to walk, swim or drive through swift water.
- Stay informed about weather conditions when you are driving.
- If your vehicle stalls in deep water, leave it and move to higher ground - if you can do so safely.
It is illegal to move, tamper with or drive around barriers blocking a low-water crossing in Texas. Penalties range from $200 to $1,000 and/or two years in jail.
According to the Centers for Disease Control more than half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers warning motorists about flooded roadways.
A motorist approaching a flooded roadway will not know the depth of the water or the condition of the ground under the water. This is especially true at night, when vision is more limited.
Motorists should be safe and cautious on Texas roadways during the next several days when the effects of Tropical Storm Edouard will be felt in areas across the state.