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Huntsville Fire and Rescue urges drivers to “turn around, don’t drown” in flood areas

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. — The Tennessee Valley is under a flash flood watch/warning until later this evening.

Up to 5 inches is possible in certain areas and that means drivers need to beware of the dangers of driving in flooded areas.

“You’re going at a speed you think is safe…and the next thing you know, you’re in six inches of water,” said Captain Frank McKenzie with Huntsville Fire and Rescue.

If you’re out driving in flash flood conditions, be careful and if you see a road is blocked…turn around.

“Sometimes that ground underneath may be washed away or the road may not be there at all,” McKenzie said. “So, they can actually be driving off into a very deep part of the water with no roadway that they’re not aware of…they think it’s there, but it might not be.”

Captain McKenzie says hydroplaning, speeding, and following too closely behind the car in front of you are all dangerous.

Something else that’s dangerous is underestimating how deep the water is.

“About two feet of water can float most vehicles on the roadway today,” McKenzie warns. “So just going through that small amount of water could be very, very dangerous and actually pick a vehicle up and move it down the road.”