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AARP AARP States South Carolina Driver Safety

Florence to cause mass flooding: Drive safe in Pee Dee region

A road closure signage as water covers the road
Don't enter closed roads or drive around barricades!
Getty Images/iStockphoto

The storm may have passed, but the danger has not. The Pee Dee region has already started to flood and flooding is expected to worsen over the next week. If you need to drive in this region, AARP urges you to be safe.

AARP encourages you to follow warning signs. Do not enter closed roads or drive around barricades. Be aware of water levels. Don’t risk driving over flooded roads or bridges. By now you may have heard repeatedly that six inches of water can knock down a person. 12-18 inches of running water can flood an engine, and just over 24 inches of fast-moving water can carry a vehicle.

If you come across an unmarked flooded road, just remember the phrase “don’t drown, turn around.” As silly as it sounds, it may save your life. Look for alternative routes or postpone the trip. Most smartphone GPS apps are up and working accurately and should be able to reroute you without much problem.

Be aware when you’re driving in a low lying area close to a river or body of water for the next couple of weeks. Keep an eye on the water level. Flash floods are still very much a possibility. Also, be aware that just a small amount of water on the road can cause a vehicle to hydroplane and go out of control even at fairly low speeds. Slow down if you see standing puddles. Ensure you have good tread on your tires before traveling. If you happen to be driving in rain on the way home, use low beams to help see through the glare.

Be sure that you have at least a half tank of gas at all times because in some places lanes are closed off and you can expect to sit in traffic. Roads are closing as the floods threaten bridges and roadways. Now that the terrible weather has gone, the heat is back on. You don’t want to run out of gas and be stuck out in traffic, in the heat. In the same vein be sure your cell phone is charged before the trip in order to be able to make emergency calls in case something does happen on your trip home.

Be sure to carry road flares and jumper cables and all the appropriate vehicle safety equipment. Have emergency numbers stored in your phone. You should continue to have your insurance information in your vehicle as always. You’ve weathered the storm, now drive safe in its aftermath.

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