After more than a dozen Richmond water rescues, officials beg: ‘turn around, don’t drown’

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Turn around, don’t drown. That’s the message from Richmond Fire crews who rescued 19 people stranded in yesterday’s floods.

Water consumed roads that were prone to flooding Wednesday night. Jason Elmore with Virginia’s Department of Emergency Management said heading into the summer, get to know hot spots in your community.

“These summer thunderstorms that produce a lot of rain, know those areas that are prone to flooding in your community,” he said.

You won’t be putting yourself in danger if you take a different route from the start or turn around if a flood is ahead of you. “The vehicles, it only takes about six inches of water for the vehicle to be able to lose control,” Elmore said. “Depending how fast the water is flowing, it can be something that can just sweep you off the roadway.

Elmore said people don’t take what could be under the surface seriously enough, from tree debris to sinkholes, where “it looks like just the normal roadway with just the few inches of water [but] it is actually a very deep hole.”

Trying to drive through the flood won’t only damage your car — it can also kill you. “In flooding, about 50 percent of the deaths nationwide occur in vehicles,” Elmore said.

If you do find yourself stuck in a flood, call 9-11 and then get to the highest point of the vehicle.

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