Safety Tip: Don't drive your car through flooded roadways - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Safety Tip: Don't drive your car through flooded roadways

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A pick-up sitting in high water. A pick-up sitting in high water.
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Think floods are only a risk for homeowners? Think again. Floods are also a hazard to motorists. Many people die each year while attempting to navigate flooded roads.

Here are a few tips to help deal with flooded roadways, and also some ideas on how to handle your vehicle once the waters have receded.

  • If you can, simply avoid flooded areas — especially those with rapid water flow. Keep things safe and simple: reschedule your plans if you're aware of flooding in the area.
  • If flooding occurs when you're on the road, stay on high ground. Experts also advise against driving in deep water, especially when the water could be fast-moving or the depth is not known.
  • If your vehicle stalls, DO NOT attempt to restart it, as your engine may be damaged. Leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly when threatening conditions exist.

After the deluge and the flood waters start to go down, experts warn that if you did drive through high water, your car could still contain damage.

  • DO NOT start a flooded vehicle until it has received a thorough inspection by a qualified mechanic.
  • Record the highest level of water exposure on your flooded vehicle.

Contact your agent or insurance company and advise them that your vehicle has been flooded. The sooner the vehicle can be evaluated and dried out, the less damage the vehicle will sustain.

If you don't have the right training and personal protective equipment (PPE), it's safer, in most cases, to leave the cleaning up to professionals. Some floodwaters contain raw or untreated sewage and other contaminants that may pose serious health hazards during cleanup. 

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