Avoid already flooded areas, and areas subject to sudden flooding.
Do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Most flood fatalities are
caused by people attempting to drive through water, or people playing in
high water. The depth of water is not always obvious. The roadbed may
be washed out under the water, and you could be stranded or trapped.
Rapidly rising water may stall the engine, engulf the vehicle and its
occupants, and sweep them away. Look out for flooding at highway dips,
bridges, and low areas. Two feet of water will carry away most
If you are driving and come upon rapidly rising waters, turn around
and find another route. Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams,
creeks, and storm drains. If your route is blocked by flood waters or
barricades, find another route. Barricades are put up by local officials
to protect people from unsafe roads. Driving around them can be a
If your vehicle becomes surrounded by water or the engine stalls,
and if you can safely get out, abandon your vehicle immediately and
climb to higher ground. Many deaths have resulted from attempts to move
stalled vehicles. When a vehicle stalls in the water, the water's
momentum is transferred to the car. The lateral force of a foot of water
moving at 10 miles per hour is about 500 pounds on the average
automobile. The greatest effect is buoyancy - for every foot that water
rises up the side of a car, it displaces 1,500 pounds of the car's
weight. So, 2 feet of water moving at 10 miles per hour will float
virtually any car. Many persons have been swept away by flood waters
upon leaving their vehicles, which are later found without much damage.
Use caution when abandoning your vehicle, and look for an opportunity to
move away quickly and safely to higher ground.