With the heavy springtime rainfall, there is the possibility of high water and flash flooding on rural highways in some areas. Flash flooding can occur even after just a few minutes of heavy rainfall, reports John Bowling, Indiana State Police public information officer.
The ISP offers flood safety tips:
• Always carry a cell phone and charger;
• Pay attention to local media reports and heed warnings issued by the National Weather Service;
• Never drive around barricades at water crossings;
• Be especially careful at night and early morning, as it can be difficult to see water and its depth across the roadway;
• Reduce speed in rain and never enter flowing water. Driving through water creates less tire contact with the road surface (hydroplaning) and increases the chance of crashing;
• Driving through water affects brakes, reducing their effectiveness until they dry out;
• If you end up in water, immediately abandon your vehicle, exit through a window and climb on top of your car. Call 911 from there and wait for help to arrive. Ride the top like a boat, as vehicles will often float for several minutes;
• Be aware that road erosion can occur any time there is running or standing water on a roadway; and
• Remember it only takes six inches of water to reach the bottoms of most car doors and one foot of water to float most vehicles.
“If you find yourself stranded in water, act fast. Get yourself and everyone in your vehicle out of their seatbelts and out a window onto the roof of the car. Remember, call 911 after you reach the top of your vehicle. ISP divers advise to only swim for it if you absolutely have to, and don’t swim against the current. Make sure you’re a survivor, not a victim,” Bowling adds.