Driving Through Flooded Roadways Potentially Dangerous


RENO, NV - Every time there is street flooding, there is a driver who tries to drive through and ends up with a broken down car. What's worse, experts say, it could kill you.

Fourth Street Tuesday evening was turned into a river but that didn't stop dozens of drivers from risking it and plowing trough the depths.

"If you are going through the water and it's getting deeper and deeper, shouldn't you stop?" asked Greg Doyle of Greg's Garage in Reno.

Doyle says a series of issues can happen when a car drives through a flooded roadway.

"Your brakes are not as effective in wet conditions... Fluids can get in your differential, transmission, your engine... If you drive it, then the water is going to take out bearings and clutches and then it will be expensive," said Doyle.

Beyond expensive, driving through flooded streets can be dangerous.

"It only takes about 18 inches of water to actually pick up a car and move it downstream," said Jon Mittelstadt with the National Weather Service. He adds half of all flooding deaths happen in cars.

"'Turn Around Don't Drown' is a campaign by the National Weather Service to make people aware of that danger. We want people to, don't take a chance," said Mittelstadt

Several unknowns lay beneath flood waters. The roadway could have washed out. Dips and low spots could allow for deeper water than expected. If it gets to deep, a car could fill with water.

"Don't be in a hurry to get where you are going. Stay safe, stop and turn around and find a different route," said Mittelstadt

Experts say it's best to travel to high ground during flash flooding events. Lower areas are where the water tends to collect.


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