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Turn Around, Don't Drown

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management urges people to learn the dangers of driving into flooded roadways because drivers often underestimate the power of floodwater.
Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States. For the past 30 years, the national average for deaths during floods has been 127 each year. Nearly half of all flood fatalities are vehicle-related according to the National Weather Service.

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) urges people to learn the dangers of driving into flooded roadways because drivers often underestimate the power of floodwater. Roads weaken under floodwater and drivers should proceed cautiously after waters have receded, since the road may collapse under the weight of the vehicle.

  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control.
  • Twelve inches of water will float a car.
  • Two feet of rushing water will carry off pick-up trucks, SUVs and most other vehicles.
  • Water across a road may hide a missing segment of roadbed or a missing bridge.
  • Because disaster can strike at any time, ADEM encourages everyone to have a disaster supply kit in their home and vehicle.

When there's water on the road: Turn Around, Don't Drown. ADEM officials say that if you are driving and your vehicle stalls in flood water, the best advice is to get out quickly and move to higher ground. Saving your life is as simple as choosing an alternate route.

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) is the state's homeland security and preparedness agency. The agency works to identify and lessen the effects of emergencies, disasters and threats to Arkansas by developing effective prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery actions for all disasters and emergencies. For additional information, contact ADEM at (501) 683-6700 or visit the website at www.adem.arkansas.gov.

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