Turn Around, Don't Drown: Flooded Roadway Crossings Can Be Extremely Dangerous
By Melissa Walker, Environmental Education Specialist
Posted on April 07, 2021, April 07, 2021

Flood awareness

Floods are the most frequent and costly natural disaster in the United States. With spring approaching, the City of Arlington reminds everyone that floodwaters can be swift, powerful and, at times, deadly.

Most flood-related deaths occur in motor vehicles. These deaths usually take place when people drive into flooded roadways or low-lying drainage areas. During high-flow or flash flooding conditions, water runs over these roadways blocking vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

These locations are monitored for flood conditions by Public Works Operations and Emergency Management Staff. Barricades are then used to prevent motorists and pedestrians from crossing these intersections.

It is important to remember that it only takes six inches of moving water to knock an adult off their feet and most vehicles can be swept off the roadway with one to two feet of rushing water. The depth of water may not always be obvious due to roadways being washed out. Flooded roadway crossings are extremely dangerous.

• Be cautious. More than half of all low-water crossing vehicular related deaths occur at night when there is low visibility which makes it hard to recognize flood dangers.

• Never drive around barricades. Barricades are there for your protection.

• Do not move roadway barricades. It is against the law and could result in a fine.

• Report blocked storm drain inlets or culverts.

• Never walk, swim, bike or drive through flooded roadways. Turn Around Don’t Drown®!

Visit www.arlingtontx.gov/floodsafety for more information on how to keep you, your family and/or employees safe during a flood event.

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