Driving dangers in flood waters - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Driving dangers in flood waters

Posted: Updated:
(KWWL) -

Turn around, don't drown. You hear that phrase usually when there's a potential for flooding.

This morning a number of places in Eastern Iowa saw flash flooding. But if you choose to drive through flood waters, it could turn scary very quickly. 

The water on the road doesn't look that deep. But the National Weather Service reports more than half of deaths from flooding each year happen in cars.

Boubin Automotive store manager Shawn Streittmatter knows the dangers of driving in flood waters first-hand. 

"The vehicle stalled in the middle of flood waters, kinda sat there not knowing what to do," said Streittmatter. "I was 18 years old at the time, and as the water got higher, I climbed onto the roof, and the vehicle started floating, and so I jumped and swam."

Officials with the National Weather Service say it takes only 12 inches of flowing water to carry off a small car.

Even as you find yourself driving and running into flood waters, not knowing just how deep they are, they say turn around and don't risk it.

Because you're not only risking your life but the water may damage your entire car.

"You could be talking thousands of dollars of damage," said Streittmatter. "Easily thousands of dollars, if not totaling the car completely."

And that's easy to do when you're driving in water, all the most important parts to operating your vehicle sit at the bottom. 

"If water gets into the electrical system, it's obviously going to cause damage to the electrical system," said Sreittmatter. "Or if you get it into the engine, it'll mix with the engine oil and cause internal engine failure."

Even as people are reminded, it's easy to forget. 

"Most everyone is a hurry, nobody wants to detour their life to go around flood waters," said Streittmatter. "The damage to your vehicle, not to mention your own life, should be enough risk to warn anyone as far as I'm concerned."

Powered by Frankly