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ODOT urges motorists to Turn Around Don’t Drown
Flood watch alerts in northern Ohio 

COLUMBUS (Friday, March 12, 2010)With the potential for heavy rains and flooding on roadways throughout the weekend, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) reminds motorists to be aware of the force and power of water and to Turn Around Don’t Drown.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for most of northern Ohio from 4 p.m. today until Sunday evening. A flood watch means that flooding is possible in the advised area. A flood warning means a flood is already occurring or is imminent.  

At the national level, more deaths occur due to flooding each year than from any other severe weather related hazard. More than half of all flood-related deaths occur in automobiles as people and their vehicles are swept downstream. The main reason is that people underestimate the force and power of water.

ODOT safety experts urge motorists to be aware when approaching a flooded road, stop and do not cross. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. And NEVER drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded. 

With water across the roadway, drivers cannot always determine the depth of the water or the condition of the road under the water. Six inches of moving water can knock a person down and a mere two feet of water can move a large vehicle. The best advice: Turn Around Don’t Drown. Road beds may be washed out under flood waters.

Many weather conditions can cause a flash flood, making theses the most dangerous kind of flooding because they combine the destructive power of high water with incredible speed and unpredictability. Rapidly rising water creating a flash flood may occur with little warning. 

Tragically, emergency responders are often injured or killed as they attempt to rescue individuals trapped by flooding.

Always remember, if in doubt, Turn Around Don’t Drown. 

Know Before You Go: Up-to-the-minute road conditions are always available by logging onto BuckeyeTraffic.org.  During events, road conditions are updated as often as necessary, with information such as lane restrictions and closures due to construction, crashes or flooding.

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For more information contact:
Paula Putnam, Central Office Communications, at 614-728-8915
Or Your Local Communications Office, 216-584-2005