Tips on How to Stay Safe During a Flash Flood

Tips on How to Stay Safe During a Flash Flood

By: Zora Asberry

NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - This Memorial Day weekend, heavy rain brought a great deal of flood waters to the Lone Star State. In West Texas, Big Spring was one of the hardest hit leaving many parts of the city under water. With the possibility of more rain this week, it's important for West Texans to take extra safety precautions to stay safe during a flood.

Debra Bogard, a resident of Big Spring, says that her home was hit hard by hail and heavy rain. "It came in pretty early this morning, it was real fast and furious, it came in hard. The wind was blowing sideways, the rain was blowing sideways and after just a little bit, it just came in a gully washer," said Bogard.

Officials say the storm brought between two to four inches of rain to Big Spring. Residents also say they received pea to quarter sized hail. Although, there was no significant damage or any fatalities, the Volunteer Fire Department did perform one water rescue.

Jose Cordova was just passing through the city when the storm hit. He says, "A lot of rain, and storms this morning, the hail storm, it was pretty bad and I was pulling a fifth-wheel, so it is bad out there."

West Texas could be getting more rain by the end of this week, so for those that find themselves in a flood situation, TxDOT has these tips:

  • If water is covering a road, don't try to cross. As little as six inches of water can float some vehicles.
  • It is illegal to remove barricades blocking lower water crossings. Penalties can range from $200 to $1,000 and/or two years in jail.
  • Never try to walk, swim or drive through swift water.
  • If your vehicle stalls in deep water, leave it and move to higher ground if you can do so safely.
  • Turn around; don't drown.
  • Always wear a seat belt and never drive under the influence of alcohol. In 2014, there were 37 fatalities on Texas roadways over the Memorial Day weekend. Ten victims were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash and 15 were killed due to impaired drivers.

"Pull off to the side of the road because we have a lot of low lying areas and they can get stuck out there especially if they don't know where they're at especially if you're out in the county," said Bogard.

"Be safe out there traveling, especially in these times and these days," said Cordova. 

TxDOT says that the most important tip for drivers during a flash flood is to turn around, don't drown.