Driving into floodwaters causes more than half of all flood-related drownings

Driving a vehicle into a flooded area is potentially life threatening. 

Hurricane Idalia brought significant amounts of water to Hillsborough County. A combination of storm surge, rain, and high tides created hazardous conditions. Streets throughout the county are flooded. 

Additionally, the Alafia River rose to a major flood stage and will continue to impact roads and neighborhoods throughout the area between Gibsonton and U.S. Hwy. 301 throughout Wednesday, Aug. 30.  

The National Weather Service (NWS) says more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard, including lightning and powerful winds. And more than half of all flood-related drownings occur when someone drives a vehicle into high water, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. 

Thus, the NWS maxim: Turn Around, Don't Drown

If you come to an area that is covered with water, you likely will not know the water's depth, or the condition of the road or ground beneath it. So, never drive on flooded roadways. 

While driving, obey emergency road signs and barriers directing traffic to avoid a flooded area. It's the safe thing to do, regardless of the urgency of your errand. 

Many people don't realize the power and force of water. Rushing water just one foot deep can move most cars, and two feet of fast-moving water can displace SUVs and pickups. 

To stay updated on Hillsborough County's response to Hurricane Idalia, sign up for HCFL Alert, Hillsborough County's emergency notification system at HCFL.gov/HCFLAlert

Residents without digital access are encouraged to call 833-HC STORM or 833-427-8676, the County's storm information line, or visit HCFL.gov/StaySafe

Last Modified: 1/16/2024, 3:26:19 PM

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