Flood videos and photos: ignore “turn around, don’t drown” at your own peril


Cars drive through flood water on Rt. 50 in Maryland yesterday ( @eric_benjamin via Twitter)

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TORRENTIAL RAIN, FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS in southeast Prince William County, central Fairfax county (mainly along and west of beltway), central/western Montgomery county and eastern Frederick county. A swift water rescue was reported by the a National Weather Service spotter at Rt. 123 and the Dulles Toll Road. Do not attempt to drive through flooded roads: TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN.

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Driving through flood water is a bad idea. In fact, it’s downright dangerous.

The National Weather Service says more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other severe weather related hazards each year. Many of these deaths occur when cars are swept downstream when roads turn into raging rivers. Not to mention, water can damage braking systems or even total your car if it becomes submerged. And water rescues cost the tax payer and are dangerous for emergency personnel.

These facts didn’t stop many from driving through flood waters yesterday as the photo above and videos below demonstrate.

Cars attempting to drive through flood in Ellicott City yesterday

More cars trying to drive through flooded roads in Ellicott City yesterday

Why aren’t people getting the message this is really bad?

Capital Weather Gang Facebook fan Brad Barkett jokingly chimed in with the following suggestion to address the problem:

It’s clear that “Turn around don’t drown” is not working, so maybe you need some backup slogans:

If you must drive past, inflate a life raft.
If you must traverse this mess, wear a life vest.
If you think your car has endurance, buy some life insurance.
If you wade like a fool, say goodbye to the gene pool.
If you pass through this toil, fit your car with a hydrofoil.

Seriously, we all need to beat into the heads of our friends, family, and colleagues that driving through standing water is a terrible idea.

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.

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