Flooding through Washington State and the Pacific Northwest is making driving a real hassle and dangerous with all three major highways across the Cascades closed including Interstate 90 — a major thoroughfare between Seattle and Spokane — which is closed due to avalanches. A 20-mile stretch of the Interstate 5 — a major North-South freeway which runs from Portland to Seattle — is under 3 feet of water in some places. Interstate 90 has been closed on and off because of avalanches and mud slides.
While it is hard to get around Washington State this week. It is very important that during times of flooding such as this that motorists pay attention to flood areas because in flooding situations, almost half of the accidental deaths are related to motor vehicles. If you are one of 40,000 people evacuating a flood area or if you are out and driving, the following information is intended to keep you safe:
- Remember that flash floods can come on suddenly. You never know when a dam or levee will fail so be extra cautious during this season.
- In flood-prone areas, do not drive unless you have to or you have been ordered to evacuate.
- Beware of large puddles. Cars are likely to stall in large puddles. Besides the stall, you might do major damage to your electrical system. Engines can be damaged if water gets into the engine block through an air intake.
- If you come to a flooded area, do not attempt to drive through it. Turn your car around and go in the other direction. Even if you are driving a large SUV, only two feet of moving water and carry your vehicle away.
- If water looks like it is above your tail pipe, do not drive in it. You may need to measure with a stick. Drive to higher ground and wait. Six inches of standing water can come into your car’s passenger compartment.
- If your car stalls in water, leave it and get to higher ground.
- Drive using your high beams.
- Drive slowly and be ready to abandon your car.
- Don’t stay with your car to keep yourself dry in a low lying area.
- Never drive around a closed road sign.
- Check the Washington State Department of Transportation web-site for their Travel Alerts and Slowdowns. http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/trafficalerts/
This information was brought to you by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We are an experienced personal injury attorney firm with offices in Seattle and Bellevue. Contact us if you have received serious injuries in an automobile accident. We will work to help you recover compensation for your damages.