LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — First responders want drivers to know that whenever they see water over the roadway, it's best to turn around–for the safety of all involved.
"Turn Around, Don’t Drown"–it’s more than just a familiar rhyme, it’s an order from first responders who want drivers to be aware of the danger that flows ahead. That danger sometimes becomes a reality when people choose to drive around barricades.
“We prefer them not to drive around the barricades, of course, or in any water even if there’s no barricade there," said Assistant Chief Scott Childers with the Anderson Volunteer Fire Department.
Childers knows all too well the risk of driving through floodwaters after a woman drowned during a rain event in December. He said the risk isn’t just to drivers. “It’s very scary to us; we don’t know what we’re getting into when you get into that," he said. "We’ve started doing a little bit of training for the swift water rescue and purchasing some more equipment to go along with this just in case someone gets swept away.”
That new equipment includes floatation throw bags, waterproof LED lights, and carabiners with reflective rope for dark situations. Childers said with more rain expected tomorrow and water levels already high, it’s even more important that drivers heed those warnings and not drive around barricades.