Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard. Why? The main reason is people underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but foolish people drive around the barriers in place that warn you the road is flooded.

Whether you are driving or walking, if you come to a flooded road, Turn Around...Don't Drown!. You will not know the depth of the water nor will you know the condition of the road under the water.

Of the three deaths which occurred as a result of the Fort Worth tornado, March 28, 2000, one death was due to flooding. The man who drowned was a passenger in a car with his girlfriend, the driver. They approached a low spot with water flowing over the road due to very heavy rain. Flooding is a common occurrence at this location with heavy rains and the danger was well marked.

As the driver drove her car into the water she became frightened as the water rose higher and higher around her vehicle. She backed out to higher ground. The passenger said the water was NOT too deep and he would prove it by walking across to the other side. He never made it.

Follow these safety rules.

  • Monitor the NOAA Weather Radio, or your favorite news source for vital weather related information.
  • If flooding occurs, get to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, canyons, washes etc.
  • Avoid already flooded and high velocity flow areas. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams. If you enter a flowing stream and the water gets above you knee, TURN AROUND, DON'T DROWN.
  • If driving be aware that the road bed may not be intact under flood waters. Turn around and go another way. NEVER drive through flooded roadways! If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground. Rapidly rising water may engulf the vehicle and sweep you and your occupants away.
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers

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