Drivers Ignore Warnings And Test The High Water

Wednesday, June 27th 2007, 7:42 pm
By: News On 6

With all the rain, many drivers have gotten in too deep. They press their luck and drive into high water. Rescuers say most won't change their habits, until they learn the wet way. The News On 6’s Scott Thompson reports downpours turned 101st Street in Broken Arrow in to a canal, and some cars weren't properly equipped.

"She only made it a few feet into the intersection before she started floating,” said Broken Arrow Police Captain Greg Sipes.

Broken Arrow Police blocked off 20 intersections across town as the water started to rise.

"The barriers were up in the center of the roadway,” Sipes said. “She drove past two barriers with orange lights on them that said 'high water'. She did that at her own peril."

A pickup truck made it through the intersection, even though the water was up to its headlights. Still, emergency crews say the driver didn't make a very good decision.

"Four wheel drive trucks, it doesn't make any difference. When that water reaches your running boards, it's going to move you,” said Tulsa Fire Captain Dannie Caldwell. “It's going to push you off the road. A lot of times the roads wash out, and it's going to wash you into a bar ditch, and then you're in trouble."

Captain Caldwell's crew is in charge of rescuing stranded drivers. That doesn't mean he likes it. Three times in his firefighting career, he's feared for his life. All three involved water.

"The problem is they're putting our emergency responders at risk, of us going out there trying to retrieve them,” said Bob Anderson of Rogers County Emergency Management. “They're endangering themselves, because they don't know how swift this water is."

"If you pull up and see a sign, and you see water, don't drive through that water," Captain Sipes said.

Sipes says it only takes one bad decision and a couple of seconds for your car to end up stranded.

If there’s more rain overnight, watch for a repeat performance of street flooding on your morning drive to work.

Watch the video: Local Drivers Test Flooded Roads