The media always tells people not to drive through large pools of water and people tell the media that we over-exaggerate that point. But we try to drill it into people's heads so that things like this don't happen. 

I have several close friends who are first responders and I can tell you that through my conversations with them, they all agree that nothing is more irritating than receiving a call to rescue someone from a flooded road that the person thought they could navigate.

The general rule of thumb is that on flooded roadways, even at low speeds, as little as six  inches of water can cause you to lose control of your vehicle or truck and can float some small vehicles. Two feet of water will carry away most vehicles, including sport utility vehicles. And yet some people think they can simply plow right through the water with no problems.

I went to dinner at Applebees on the Vestal Parkway tonight with a friend and within 15 minutes of the rain starting this is what the parking lot looked like:


Traci Taylor

Within 10 minutes of taking the photo above, the water was to the front of the cars and up to the middle of the tires.

But what most amazing to me was the road leading into the Olums Plaza.  It was clearly flooded.  Debris was floating and the water was not only rising, but it was moving at a pretty good pace.  And yet I watched as several cars drove right through the flooded road- like this one:

Traci Taylor

The staff and customers of Applebees stood at the windows and watched in amazement at the guts of the people struggling against the water to get through the flooded road.

When my friend and I left,  my friend stopped to take off her shoes so they wouldn't get ruined because the parking lot was still flooded when a police officer pulled up.  We joked that he was there to carry us to our cars, but it turns out he was there because he'd received a 911 call from someone trapped in the rising water on the street.

Within a minute or so of the officer showing up, we heard the sirens of a firetruck on it's way to rescue the person in the car.


Traci Taylor
Traci Taylor

I left while crews were still taking care of the stuck car, but I stood and watched for over half an hour.  From start to finish, I'm guessing that more than hour was spent on this one stuck car.  The good to come out of this story is that the person driving the car seemed to be alright, although they were shaken up. It could have been so much worse.

So the next time you think you can maneuver though a pool of standing water think about this story.  Think about all the people who will become involved in your rescue.  Think about the fact that there might be somebody with a camera taking pictures and video of your car (that'd be embarrassing, right?) and think about how much worse it could end up being.