-- — With Hurricane Isaac on the way to the Midwest, there is a possibility of heavy rain and flash flooding this weekend and the risk of high water on highways. Flash flooding can occur even after just a few minutes of heavy rainfall, says Sgt. John Bowling, Indiana State Police Pendleton District public information officer.
The police offer these driving safety tips for heavy rain and flooding:
• Carry a cell phone and charger.
• Pay attention to local media reports and warnings issued by the National Weather Service.
• Never drive around barricades at water crossings.
• Be careful at night when it is difficult to see water and its depth across the roadway.
• Reduce your speed in rain and never enter flowing water. Driving fast through water creates less tire contact with the road surface (hydroplaning) and increases your chance of crashing.
• Driving through water affects your brakes, reducing their effectiveness until they dry out.
• If your vehicle ends up in water, exit through a window and climb on top of your car. Call 911 from there and wait for help to arrive. Most vehicles will float for several minutes.
• Be aware that road erosion can occur anytime there is running or standing water.
• It only takes 6 inches of water to reach the bottoms of most car doors. One foot of water will float most vehicles and 2 feet of water will carry most vehicles away.
Bowling suggests, “If you find yourself stranded in flood waters, remember to call 911 from the top of your vehicle or higher ground. State police divers advise to only swim to safety when you absolutely have to, and remember to swim with the current. If you are a rescuer, remember to throw a rope or flotation device to the person or row a boat and go.”