HOUSTON (MEDIA GENERAL) – Deadly flood waters in Texas and Oklahoma have claimed lives and left many more people stranded. In Houston, fire crews conducted hundreds of water rescues as parts of the city saw up to 11 inches of rain. Crews handled about 530 water-related calls, many from motorists stuck in their vehicles.
According to the National Weather Service, flooding is one of the leading causes of weather related deaths in the U.S. It kills nearly 90 people each year. More than half of those deaths occur in motor vehicles when people try to drive through flooded roadways.
“This happens because people underestimate the force and power of water, especially when it is moving,” wrote NWS in Boise, Idaho.
They released an impactful video online to show just how deceiving and powerful water can be. You watch as a car drives into water that looks shallow. Once in the water, the car is overcome by the power of the water.
According to NWS, just six inches of fast-moving water can knock over and carry off an adult. Twelve inches of water can float a small car. If that water is moving, it can carry that car away. Eighteen to twenty-four inches of flowing water can carry away most vehicles, including large SUVs.
It is impossible to tell the exact depth of water covering a roadway or the condition of the road below the water. This is especially true at night. It is never safe to drive or walk through flood waters.
The NWS encourages you to follow this simple rule when you come to a flooded road, walkway, or path: Turn Around Don’t Drown.