Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins encourages citizens of the City of Columbia and Richland County to be on alert over the next several days as the potential for more severe weather as experienced last night may occur in our area.
Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins stated, “The Columbia Fire Department is ready to respond for any incident as a result of the pending weather conditions and I urge motorists to be aware and cautious while driving through areas with standing water or roadways that have the potential for flooding.”
There are a number of intersections and roadways that often encounter flooding during periods of heavy rains. These locations create dangerous situations for motorists who attempt to drive through standing water.
- Water levels and the rate the water is flowing can quickly change. Remain aware and monitor
local media (including NOAA Weather Radio), internet and social media for information and updates.
- Get out of areas subject to flooding and get to higher ground immediately.
- Don’t go into a basement, or any room, if water covers the electrical outlets or if cords are submerged. If you see sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping or popping noises –get out! Stay out of water that may have electricity in it!
- Avoid Flood waters
- Pay attention to barricades/ don’t ignore them by driving past them
- Do not walk through flood waters. It only takes six inches of moving water to knock you off your feet. If you are trapped by moving water, move to the highest possible point and call 911 for help.
- Do not drive into flooded roadways or around a barricade; Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Water may be deeper than it appears and can hide many hazards (i.e. sharp objects, washed out road surfaces, electrical wires, chemicals, etc). A vehicle caught in swiftly moving water can be swept away in a matter of seconds. Twelve inches of water can float a car or small SUV and 18 inches of water can carry away large vehicles.
- Stay away from storm-damaged areas to include damaged or downed trees and power lines
- Don’t touch or go near a fallen wire, even if it’s not sparking or humming. Treat all downed lines as if they are live
- Don’t touch anything that’s touching the wire, such as a car or tree limb, because electricity can pass through objects, people and animals to reach the ground.
- For additional safety tips on driving when streets are flooded, click here.