Driving in a flood

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Danielle Conde
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
For the East Coast, the busiest time during hurricane season is between mid-August and mid-September. On August 1-3, 2015, Tampa Bay, Florida, experienced first-hand just how quickly a flood can develop during a rainstorm, forcing drivers to find alternate routes or ultimately abandoning their stalled vehicles.

Although drivers were urged to stay off the roads, many took the risk of stalling their vehicle while driving through the flood water.

"Sometimes the best thing to do is wait it out," said Tech. Sgt. Keturah Reed, 6th Air Mobility Wing safety technician. "However, if you are forced to drive through the water do your best to estimate the depth and drive slowly and steadily through it."

It is important to monitor the local news stations and social media to stay updated on current traffic conditions and road closures.

In the event that the vehicle stalls in deep water, it may be possible to restart the engine to make it to safety. However, if the vehicle is unable to restart, the driver should immediately abandon the vehicle to get to higher ground.

With that being said, be aware of the depth of the water. It only takes six inches of moving water to knock someone down. Call 911 if higher ground cannot be safely reached.

Reed encourages drivers to review their auto insurance policies, and be better prepared for the next rainstorm that causes major flooding.

For more information about flood safety, visit the National Weather Service at www.floodsafety.noaa.gov.