Tips to stay safe with flood risks

WASHINGTON — Heavy rain is expected to continue to fall on the D.C. region through Wednesday, bringing with it a chance for flooding.

Around the region, another 2 to 3 inches of rain is expected Wednesday on top of an already saturated ground from Tuesday’s precipitation.

The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Watch and Flood Watch for portions of Montgomery County and Pete Piringer, the county’s fire and rescue spokesman, has tips for people planning to drive on the flood-prone roads.

  • Don’t drive through flooded roads. Piringer says the depth of the water is not always obvious and the water can hide dips and holes in the road.

    “The road bed may be washed out underneath the water and you could be stranded or trapped as a result,” he says.

    Piringer says 6 inches of water can reach the bottom of most cars and cause drivers to lose control. One foot of water can float many vehicle and 2 feet of rushing water has the potential to carry away vehicles.

  • Don’t drive around barricades. Barricades set up by law enforcement are there for drivers’ protection and serve as a reminder of the county’s flood-risk mantra, “turn around, don’t drown.”
  • Don’t take shortcuts. Stick to designated evacuation routes and roads with which you are familiar, Piringer says. Shortcuts may be blocked as well.
  • Be cautious driving at night. It may be more difficult for drivers to recognized flood dangers when it’s dark outside.

Piringer says as heavy rain hits the region, residents should anticipate some flooding and take precautions.

“Be aware, be informed, be prepared,” he says.

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