If this weekends’ serious snow melt and heavy Sunday rainstorm demonstrated anything, it is that a seasonal thaw can lead to an almost instantaneous flood. In certain low-lying areas, drivers were caught driving through large puddles of water, some that were much deeper than anticipated. As I watched one driver struggle through the water, her engine failed, a look of panic seemed to creep upon her face as downpour increased and the tide was rising up the sides of the vehicles.
Luckily she got out of her car, crawled on the hood and waded through the water, reaching high ground before her car was enveloped in the flood.
Each late winter and early spring, news stations show video footage of flooded cars, water rising past the windows of the vehicle, because drivers were caught off-guard when the ground becomes saturated and the water rose. The flood surrounded them.
So this is my yearly reminder, that flash flood occurs frequently as the winter snow begins to melt and the spring rains return. Never drive through a flooded roadway, because that water is usually deeper than appears. But if you should happen to get caught, these are some hints to survive:
What to DO:
- First and foremost remain calm. Panicking will make the situation worse.
- Unlock your doors and lower your windows. The electricity in your car may fail if the water gets as high as the engine.
- Unbuckle your seatbelt so that you have the ability to maneuver.
- Take off jacket, coat, gloves and any other clothing that may weigh you down.
- Turn on your hazard lights and headlights. It will warn other drivers that you are in trouble.
- Get out of the car. Either crawl through the window or open the door. If the door will not open, you must wait for the water pressure on the inside and outside of the car to level. You may have to wait for the water to rise up to the window level and then it will open. Try to stay calm. Hold your breath, then push the door.
- Find high ground and call for help.
What you should NOT do:
- Attempt to remove your possessions from the car. You can waste valuable time searching and get stuck.
- Open the doors before the pressure inside and outside of the car equalizes. The Incredible Hulk could not budge that door until the pressure adjusts.
- Smash the car windows. The rush of water from the exterior of the car mixed with broken glass could cut you.
- Stay with your car. A 1-ton shifting car is impossible to control and could crush you or push you under the water. Swim or walk away from it.
- Do not attempt to return to your car. Let the experts recover your property.
Being in this situation can propel you into panic mode and you can forget what to do and what NOT to do. The key is to remain calm and get away from the vehicle as quickly as possible. ….
I can tell you working in insurance for so many years, that no property or possession is worth your life. Let it go. And then once you are safe and sound, call us. Your Comprehensive Auto Insurance policy, should cover many of the damages that occurred. Our Claims S pecialist will be there to help restore your life back to normal.