Essex County | 1 May 2012
The Essex County Fire & Rescue Service is warning drivers to take care and not get themselves and their families trapped by driving into flood water.
Over the last couple of days the Service has received dozens of calls to mindless motorists who have got themselves, and their families, into deep water by not exercising proper precautions in their car around flood water.
Assistant Divisional Officer Chris Noakes said: “It is mind boggling just how many mindless motorists have driven their car into flood water and need our help to get themselves, and often their families, out of their predicament.”
Just two feet of water is enough to float a car and six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars; this depth can cause loss of control or possible stalling as water is sucked into the exhaust or washes into the air intake.
Motorists should never attempt to drive through water deeper than the centre of their wheels. If water gets into the car’s air intake or into the electrics the car will stop leaving driver and passengers trapped.
The water could also be hiding damaged road or missing manhole covers.
Motorists should take particular care when crossing fords, these often become flooded and extremely dangerous with fast flowing water.
ADO Noakes added: “Every time there is flooding the Service has to rescue people who have driven their cars into flood water.
“When faced with water drivers should exercise a little common sense. If they can they should find an alternative route. If there is no way round they should park safely and get out to check the depth of the water before they drive into it.
“Just driving into water and hoping for the best is not an option, by the time you find out the water is too deep you are already trapped.”