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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Fire Department Warns Drivers to Use Caution in Rainy Weather
With 3 to 5 inches of rain expected over the next few days, the Springfield Fire Department reminds drivers to be aware of hazardous driving conditions and flooded roadways. In the last 2 years, Springfield firefighters have responded to 38 swift water rescues. Many of those involved drivers driving through low-water crossings and over flooded roadways. Several of those rescues occurred on busy roads in the heart of Springfield, such as Chestnut Expressway. Water in many areas of the city can rise quickly during times of heavy rain. Even a small amount of water can stall your vehicle, trapping occupants and causing hazardous conditions for them and first responders.
According to the National Weather Service, each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters. People underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded. A mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while 2 feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters.
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For media only: For more information, contact the Fire Department media line at 874-2301.