Flash Flooding: Turn Around, Don't Drown
The National Weather Service and the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Division of Emergency
Management urge people to learn the dangers of driving into flooded roadways. Drivers often underestimate
the power of floodwater. When there’s water running across a road, drivers should always turn around and
choose a different route.
- Six inches of water can cause tires to lose traction and begin to slide.
- Twelve inches of water can float many cars. 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.
- In flash floods, waters rise so rapidly they may be far deeper by the time you are halfway across,
trapping you in your vehicle.
- Flash floods are especially treacherous at night when it is very difficult to see how deep waters may
be or how fast water is rising.
- Floodwater weakens roadbeds. Drivers should proceed cautiously after waters have receded, since
the road may collapse under the weight of the vehicle.
Lives can be saved every year if Texas drivers follow this one rule: when there’s water on the road, turn
around, don’t drown.
For additional information, visit the National Weather Service, Southern Region Headquarters Turn Around Don’t Drown page
For multimedia resources, visit the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes Flood page and NOAA’s Hydrologic Services page.