Driving over flooded roadways, all risk, no reward

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Summer Weather Safety

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The threat of flooding becomes more common in the summer months. And that means the concern for people driving over flooded roadways rises too. It’s an issue first responders, like Captain Matthew Lupo, are bracing for once again.

“A lot of times I think people think it’s not that high, it’s not moving that fast. I can make it,” said Lupo.

But many times, that’s just not the case, and quickly, the situation becomes dangerous for both the people dialing 911 and the people responding to the call.

“A typical water rescue call we need a minimum of eight people and that’s if we put four people on a raft, and we’d rather have five…if they’re in a raft, they have to paddle against that force, as well, to get to where the vehicles are at.”

Because, even when you’re trained to handle nature’s wrath, it’s easy to be overpowered.

“At 3 mph, just on the human legs, it causes 17 lbs. of force against you. And by the time you get up to 8 mph, you’re looking at over 100 lbs. of force,” said Lupo.

Six inches of flowing water is enough to knock an adult off their feet. One foot of flowing water is enough to lift and carry away a car, and two feet of water can carry away an SUV or truck.

Simply put: a little water goes a long way.

Remember the classic saying as we head into summer: turn around, don’t drown!

If you see a flooded roadway, take an alternate route because, in the end, you don’t know how much water is really there, or how stable the road is underneath it. In the end, the risk isn’t worth the consequences.

For more summer weather safety tips, click here.

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