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vanessa-newVanessa Remmers covers Stafford County government and schools for fredericksburg.com and The Free Lance-Star.

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How High’s The Water, Mama?

Two incidents in Stafford County should remind everyone that flood waters are nothing to trifle with, especially when you’re driving. You’ve probably heard this before, but do not drive through water if you don’t know how deep it is. Of course, if it’s more than a few inches deep, don’t drive through it, either.

Two vehicles were stranded in high water on River Road early yesterday morning. In the first incident, all four passengers managed to get out of the vehicle before the fire department showed up. In the second incident, fire and rescue personnel had to rescue the driver from the vehicle. The second incident occurred despite the road being closed. It turns out someone had moved the signs and cones blocking the road.

Check the press release for all the details.

And just to be thorough, here is some advice from the Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department should you ever find yourself facing a flooded road.

Many drivers rescued from flood waters report that they were in a hurry to get home as a reason for tempting the danger of driving into water. However it looks, and despite what car commercials depict, driving into flood waters may be the most dangerous things one might ever do, try considering the following:

Most cars will float (and be swept away) in 18-24 inches of moving water. Trucks and SUVs are not much better with only 6-12 more inches of clearance. Creeks and rivers can rise rapidly and the road bottom can also wash away making the water much deeper than it appears.

Once cars are swept downstream, they will often roll to one side or perhaps flip over entirely. The driver has a few precious seconds to escape the vehicle. In fact, many drivers panic as soon as the vehicle submerges and are found later with their seat belt intact.

Determining the depth of the water is impossible rushing water can erode the asphalt or concrete roadways creating a void or sinkhole. Therefore, what appears to be a few inches of water could be a void several feet deep.

If you encounter high water on a roadway take an alternate route, don’t tempt the danger of driving through the high water. By doing so you are putting lives at risk and not only yours, your passengers and the people who will risk their lives to rescue you.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/staffordnews/2011/05/18/how-highs-the-water-mama/

  • Area Man

    Whoever moved those signs should be charged with attempted murder. This is serious when you are talking about people’s lives.

  • dude

    stick them in a car and drop it in the river and see how they like it!!!!!

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