The dangers of low-water crossings

Monday, May 7, 2012

As we enter spring, that often means winter run-off and spring rains can and will causing low-land flooding in Iowa and throughout the Midwest.

We cannot caution residents and motorists enough about flood dangers, and implore everyoine to please be careful out there.

Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are vehicle related! When driving your automobile during flood conditions, look out for flooding at highway dips, bridges and low areas.

Even the largest and heaviest of vehicles will float. Two feet of water will carry most cars away.

As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Do not drive through flowing water!

A hidden danger awaits motorists where a road without a bridge dips across a creek bed.

Motorists develop false confidence when they normally or frequently pass through a dry, low-water crossing.

Road beds may have been scoured or even washed away during flooding or heavy rains creating unsafe driving conditions.

Those who repeatedly drive through flooded low-water crossings may not recognize the dangers of a small increase in the water level.

Driving too fast through low water will cause the vehicle to hydroplane and lose contact with the road surface.

Visibility is limited at night increasing the vulnerability of the driver to any hidden dangers.

Heed all flood and flash flood watches and warnings. Take the time to check with the authorities and to monitor weather advisories for flood watches and warnings.

And always remain aware of road conditions whenever and wherever you travel!