Heed road barriers and detour routes during flooding

Special to the Bulletin
Flood Awareness Week

This week is recognized as Texas Flood Awareness Week, with the goal of educating communities about the dangers of flooding. As rain continues throughout many parts of the state, residents and motorists are urged to “be safe and turn around, don’t drown.”

NOAA’S National Weather Service (NWS) reports that 80 percent of flood-related deaths in South Texas occur as a result of people driving through low-water crossings, walking along the banks of flooded areas, or playing in floodwaters. Six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult, and it takes only two feet of rushing water to float most vehicles. More than half of all flood fatalities result from automobiles being swept downstream.

Flooding is the 2nd leading cause of weather-related fatalities in the United States (behind heat). On average, flooding claims the lives of 89 people each year. Most of these deaths occur in motor vehicles when people attempt to drive through flooded roadways. Many other lives are lost when people walk into flood waters. This happens because people underestimate the force and power of water, especially when it is moving.

It is never safe to drive or walk through flood waters. Any time you come to a flooded road, walkway, or path, follow this simple rule: Turn Around Don’t Drown.