Our post topic of today – driving tips for flooded roads -may not be a primary interest of concern in Northern California in late July. Of course we are still in the thick of our incredibly hot, dry summer, but interspersed with all the news reports regarding our drought conditions, another weather related topic has been getting a lot of press: the expected El Nino this fall/winter. If you listen to some meteorological experts, we can expect a huge deluge of rain this year. And in Sacramento and Elk Grove, that translates into flooded streets.
The flooded streets of Sacramento can be dangerous. Many times, drivers believe they can forge on through a flooded street but it actually takes very little standing water to cause loss of control of your vehicle. Being unable to control the vehicle means you could end up in the path of oncoming traffic or off the roadway. If the flood water is moving, that adds another element of treachery – it takes as little as six inches of active flood water to actually push your vehicle. With two feet of water on the roads, a vehicle can actually float. Not only is losing control of your vehicle very dangerous, that amount of water can cause a lot of damage to the vehicle itself.
When the rain comes, check the local news for reports of flooding and any road closures. The best advice is to stay off the roads, if possible, but if you must get somewhere, find an alternate route that has not been affected. Some streets are much more likely to be flooded than others. East Sacramento neighborhoods, for example, are some of the first to flood, as are areas around Howe and Arden, and some side streets in the Elk Grove and West Sacramento areas. There are several GPS apps available now that are updated frequently by other drivers, and if you encounter a flooded area such an app may help re-direct you towards a safer route.
Obviously if you encounter a closed road or a barricade, take heed and do not try to circumvent the barrier. People do this! It’s not smart!
If despite precautions, you get stalled in flood water, leave the vehicle. The vast majority of deaths during flood situations are because people stay with their vehicle and get swept away by rising, moving flood water.
I’m Ed Smith, an Elk Grove attorney with the most informative and comprehensive accident site on the internet, www.AutoAccident.com. If you or someone you know has been injured in an automobile accident due to the negligence of another driver, please feel free to call me for free and friendly advice at (916) 921-6400. If you are outside of the Sacramento region, call toll free at (800) 404-5400.