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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Road dangers: Looks can be deceiving

Friday, January 7, 2005

The water is receding, but that doesn't mean the hazardous conditions are gone.

Unpaved back roads, muddied from the excess water, can be hazardous, and with ditches flooded and water still standing on many highways, driving is still difficult.

"Dropping temperatures can freeze puddles left on roads, becoming a hazard." Indiana State Police Sgt. Joe Watts said. "People still need to be vigilant out there."

Motorists should not attempt to drive across flooded roads whether the water is moving or not.

Two feet of moving water may stall engines, engulf vehicles and occupants, or carry away automobiles all together.

The depth of still water is not always obvious. This makes it difficult to determine whether the roadbed is washed out underneath the water.

"A driver may think they are safely on the road, when in actuality they are not," Indiana Conservation Officer Max Winchell said. Conservation officers are standing by in areas prone to flooding to assist in emergencies. "But people need to exercise good judgment to keep themselves and emergency personnel safe."

Abandoned vehicles void of occupants that are left in flood waters need to be reported to the authorities. This will save rescue workers the risk of going out into the freezing water to check for persons stranded needlessly.

"It's not July out there," Officer Winchell said, explaining the need for adults and children to not use the excess water as a source of entertainment. "With dropping temperatures the chance of hypothermia is very real. People just need to stay out of the water."

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