Flood safety: What to do if you're caught - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Flood safety: What to do if you're caught

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

We've seen the video and the pictures. Vehicles and homes submerged in water. Many cars stalled and become immobile from the strength of the water.

The National Weather Service says it only takes 6 inches of fast-moving flood water to create a dangerous and even deadly situation knocking over an adult.

It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles. This includes pickups and SUVs.

If you come to an area that is covered with water, you will not know the depth of the water or the condition of the ground under the water so it's best to avoid that area.

Emergency personnel like Lt. James Payton with the Montgomery Fire Department says drivers must realize they can't beat mother nature.

"As water rises and gets to the bottom of your vehicle it causes lift, which causes your vehicle to be light in water," Payton said.

Payton remembers the rescue effort for Montgomery's huge flood in May of 2009.

"We did have a few situations where people tried to go through the moving water. As low as vehicles sit to the ground these days, just a very small amount of water can really wash away a car quickly," Lt. Payton said.

Payton says in some instances you may not have warning that a flash food is coming.

"If you're in a store and you come out and there's a flood parking lot, go back into the store. If your vehicle is already under water, don't try to get in, just try to find higher ground," Payton said.

He says If you are inside your car and it starts to fill with water, immediately stop driving and dial 9-1-1. He says only get out of the vehicle if you see higher ground.

Many cars will start to float in as little as one foot of water. This can be extremely dangerous because as the wheels lose grip you lose control.

Play it smart, play it safe -- whether driving or walking, any time you come to a flooded road, turn around.

For more flood safety tips, visit the Turn Around Don't Drown website.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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