Officials Warn Drivers to Turn Around, Don't Drown

Officials Warn Drivers to Turn Around, Don't Drown

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND/ODESSA - People across the Basin saw power outages overnight as storms rolled through the area. With more storms on the way, officials are preparing for round two.

Just because West Texas is flat doesn't mean it can't flood.

"It got to a point to where water just started going to the kitchen," Ralph Dunson Jr. said.

Thunderstorms pounded the Basin overnight bringing in nearly an inch of rain in Odessa and a little less in other parts.

"The debris washes down from where it comes from and you can see it all along the ditch, that's all lined with paper cups and bottles and trash," Dunson said.

The storms knocked out power to about 4,000 customers in Midland at one point.

Odessa Fire and Rescue even responded to some high water rescues.

"People see it, they're flooded and they think they can make it through and they can't and it's a bad situation," Dunson said.

Although there weren't reports of any high water rescues in Midland, Dunson said he sees people risk it all the time near his parents house off Scharbauer Road.

"You have people just try your luck," he said.

Several crossings on Scharbauer are closed until further notice and flooding forced closures on FM 1788 in Andrews County.

Gene Powell with TxDOT said crews also came across a stranded driver at a closed portion of FM 307 in Greenwood.

"In the case of weather and high water, it can be a case of life and death situation because water can really pick up and move small vehicles pretty easily," Powell said. "It's hard to tell how fast that water is moving before you drive into it."

More rain is expected for the next few days so TxDOT is on alert.

"We have crews on stand by for when weather hits," Powell said. "We react when Mother Nature gets to us."

Although it's been said over and over, officials are reminding the public to turn around, don't drown.

"The cones are there for a reason," Powell said. "They're to protect you as a motorist, they're to protect the road. You don't know what's under the water, you don't know how fast the water is moving."