HENDRY COUNTY- Florida faces higher flood risks than any other state due to combination of flat terrain and the threat of hurricanes, high tides, and rising seas. Florida’s famous summer thunderstorms regularly cause flooding, and with hurricane season upon us once again, the nearly daily downpours have been occurring. Because of this, the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) has released some driving safety tips for driving in flood conditions.
“This may seem like common sense, but the first rule of driving along flooded roadways is not to if you can avoid it,” the HSCO explained. “When approaching a flooded area, you can't be sure of the depth of the water or the condition of the road beneath it, which may be broken up or washed away. Worst case, there may be no road left under the water. Safety experts agree that roads are flooded when you cannot see the road markings.”
According to The National Weather Center and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water.
“Just 6 inches of standing water – sometimes less – can be enough to cause engine stalling,” the HCSO advised. “Your engine can suffer serious and expensive damage if it ingests water. And you'll be stranded.”
Adding, “In approximately one foot of water, a typical car can begin to float and, as traction is lost, so is steering control. If the water is moving, your vehicle could literally float away. Even larger vehicles such as pickup trucks and SUVs are in danger of floating.”
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requires more policies in Florida than any other state. Also, according to FEMA, flooding causes more deaths than any other weather hazard.
“Danger only increases in the event of moving water, so avoid flooded roadways, look for alternate routes, and do not cross unless absolutely necessary,” the HCSO said. “Lastly, never try driving through fast-moving water, such as an overflowing river, as your vehicle could be swept away.”