Why the phrase “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” can save lives


ST. LOUIS – Did you know that flooding results in more weather-related fatalities than anything thunderstorm related? The problem is too many people drive through flooded roads and their cars are swept away. 

When heavy, intense rain falls on an area in a short amount of time, flash flooding can occur.

The amount of precipitation overwhelms the soil and fills creek beds and streams to overflowing. There is a rapid rise in water in low-lying areas.

And just as fast as the water goes up it comes back down meaning a flooded road could be dry twenty minutes after it was completely impassable.

Water is a powerful force. Just six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult and twelve inches of rushing water can carry away most cars.

Water can also buckle the pavement of roadways and breaks cannot be seen on approach. It is never safe to drive through or walk into flood waters.

While river flooding can also be dangerous and potentially deadly, the typically more gradual rise of a stream flooding event makes them easier to prepare for and avoid than flash floods.

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