Heavy rains to hit Southwest Louisiana, power outages and drivin - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Heavy rains to hit Southwest Louisiana, power outages and driving tips

We are looking at a very wet Friday morning all across Southwest Louisiana.

Most roads were passable as of 9 a.m., but we could see some minor flooding later this morning.

A flash flood warning has been issued for the area until 1:45 p.m.

The rains are expected to continue through Noon but meteorologist Zack Fradella said he does not expect a repeat of the flood from last month.

Still, please be safe out there and plan extra time getting around today.

If it gets worse, we will be on the air and online to report on power outages, road closures and more.

Power Outages

As of 9 a.m., only around 200 Lake Area residents are without power. Entergy customers can check on their home at http://www.etrviewoutage.com/external/ar.aspx while BECi customers can check at http://www.becioutage.org/.

If your power does go out, you can still watch us live at http://bit.ly/1lCk0p5 or through the KPLC News and Weather Apps for Apple or Android devices.

More Safe Driving Tips

Drivers are again reminded to give themselves extra time to get around today.

Also, if you come across standing water, don't chance it.

According to progressive.com, the average automobile can be swept off the road in 12 inches of moving water and attempting to drive through water also may stall your engine, with the potential to cause irreparable damage.

The solution is this simple -- if you come upon a flooded street, take an alternate route.

• If no alternate route exists and you have no other reasonable alternative but to drive through standing water.

• Do your best to estimate the depth of the water (if other cars are driving through, take note of how deep the water is).

• Drive slowly and steadily through the water.

• Avoid driving in water that downed electrical or power lines have fallen in — electric current passes through water easily.

• If you have driven through water up to the wheel rims or higher, test your brakes on a clear patch of road at low speed. If they are wet and not stopping the vehicle as they should, dry them by pressing gently on the brake pedal with your left foot while maintaining speed with your right foot.

• Stay off the telephone unless you must report severe injuries.

• If your vehicle stalls in the deep water, you may need to restart the engine to make it to safety. Keep in mind that restarting may cause irreparable damage to the engine.

• If you can't restart your vehicle and you become trapped in rising water, immediately abandon it for higher ground. Try to open the door or roll down the window to get out of the vehicle. If you are unable to get out safely, call 911 or get the attention of a passerby or someone standing on higher ground so that they may call for help.

Copyright 2014 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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