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May 11th, 2017

What To Do If You're Driving and Encounter a Flash Flood

Flash floods can appear in an instant, and deliver enough power to sweep you and your vehicle off the road. Here's how to handle this frightening scenario.
Vehicle swept from flooded road
Flash floods are common in many parts of the country and should not be taken lightly. If you get stuck in a vehicle during a flood, keep your cool and follow these steps.

The number one rule when you encounter any water crossing the road is to turn around. It might look like a little bit of water that'd be easy to ford, but underestimating the depth of the water and strength of the current has cost many people their lives. According to the American Red Cross, most cars are swept away by less than two feet of water.

Fortunately, the driver in the video below had already exited his Jeep before it succumbed to flooding.

If fast-moving water has already surrounded your vehicle, and your car is either stalled out or not moving in the right direction, then you need to get yourself out of there as quickly as possible and get to high ground. A strong current can be dangerous to navigate on foot, so it's best to ditch your car as soon as possible. If you get swept away by the water, try to grab whatever you can to pull yourself to the side. Maneuver over any objects you encounter, not under. Wait for help to arrive instead of entering any floodwater.

Getting swept away while inside your vehicle is extremely dangerous. Although it sounds counterintuitive, if you're stuck inside your car, you'll want to roll down your windows and allow water to enter your vehicle. You can escape from your vehicle through the window or, if that's not possible, wait until the water pressure is equal on both sides of your door so it will open.

If your vehicle has successfully made it through a flood, it will undoubtedly have suffered some water damage. Here's how to repair it to prevent mold and corrosion. Do this as soon as possible.

If you ever find yourself up against a flash flood, keep a level head and remember: A vehicle can be replaced, but lives cannot.

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