Thursday, March 10, 2016

Flood Threat Rising: Turn Around, Don't Drown

Heavy rains are occurring now in California and in the South.

Let's review the #1 thing everyone should remember when they see water across the road: Turn Around, Don't Drown .

Story chaser and friend Chris Novy almost became a statistic on May 31, 2013.


This very brief video shows how quickly things can go from safe to near-fatal. Chris says had his car not buckled and the window broken he never would have been able to get out. I'll let him pick it up in his own words.

Published on Jun 2, 2013
The video is a view from my D-TEG dashcam. I approached a flooded road and made a quick U-turn rather than driving [all the way] into the water. This was a naturally smart move. Unfortunately my turn resulted in me plunging off a hidden embankment and splashing nose-first right into a swollen creek where I sunk straight to the bottom, I traveled several hundred feet underwater with the car quickly filling up. At one point I was completely surrounded by water and just holding my breath in the darkness. Somehow the driver-side and passenger-side windows broke and I was flushed from the vehicle. I surfaced after a bit and found myself racing down the creek. A cop called out to me and I was able to swim to him and his life-saving grab.

Analysis:
It probably would have been best for the police car (seen right before my turn) to have completely blocked the road the emergency lights on. As it was, the scene seemed like just a water hazard but probably should have been clearly marked as a no-go zone.

I should have come to a complete stop and taken more time to evaluate the situation. Ideally I should have just put it into reverse and slowly backed out. I took a dangerous situation and made it even worse leaping before I looked.

Lessons learned:
Turn around, don't drown!

Chris also posted this photo on Facebook.

I also want to make a point that Chris is too polite to make. The police car was useless. Here is a screen capture. I didn't even see the police car the first time I viewed the video.
While his light bar is on, he is making no effort to keep people out of the hazard.

Thanks, Chris, for making this available. I hope it saves lives and prevents needless property loss. 

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