Nobody can stop a flood. But there are actions travelers can take before and during a flood to protect themselves, their families and property. Several Iowa roadways are currently impassible due to flood waters. The most current information on flooded roadways can be found at www.511ia.org or by calling 511.
Avoid flooded areas:
- “Turn Around Don’t Drown®.” Never drive around barriers that warn you the road is flooded – turn around and find another route. If your route is blocked by barricades, find another route. Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. Barricades are put up by state or local officials to protect travelers from unsafe roads. Driving around them can be a serious risk.
- Avoid sight-seeing or entering a storm-affected area unnecessarily. As little as six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.
- If you attempt to drive through water, your vehicle may stall or get stuck in the water, and then get pushed off the road. Once off the road, vehicles often start to roll, making escape difficult or impossible.
- Leave your vehicle immediately and seek higher ground if your vehicle is suddenly caught in rising water.
- Help others: If you see a nonbarricaded, water-covered roadway or major obstruction, such as a blocked culvert or bridge opening, call the local law enforcement agency so they can alert the appropriate road agency. Warn children not to play near swollen creeks or rivers, storm drains, culverts and bridges, or on flooded streets and roadways.
The national “Turn Around Don’t Drown®” program was developed by the National Weather Service (NWS) to educate motorists travelingthroughout the country about the importance of driving safely near flooded roads.
The NWS wants to build momentum across the nation to make individuals aware of the dangers on or near flood areas. Each year hundreds of people are involved in flood-related deaths and injuries and the “Turn Around Don’t Drown” program’s goal is to prevent such injuries and fatalities. The Iowa DOT is a partnering in this safety program. If you have any questions regarding the “Turn Around Don’t Drown” program, visit the NWS’s website at http://www.srh.noaa.gov/srh/tadd/.