NOUS41 KBTV 160924
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Burlington VT
524 AM EDT Tue Mar 16 2021
...National Flood Safety Awareness Week Continues...
The National Weather Service in Burlington, VT has declared March
14 through March 20 as Flood Safety Awareness Week. Each day during
the awareness week will feature information about a different flood
related topic. Todays topic is Turn Around, Dont Drown, or
TADD for short.
Turn Around Don`t Drown, or TADD for short, is a NOAA National
Weather Service campaign used to educate people about the hazards of
driving a vehicle or walking through flood waters. The phrase, "Turn
Around Don`t Drown" has become a catchphrase in the media, classroom
and even at home. It`s one thing to see or hear the phrase, and
another to put it into practice.
Flooding is the 2nd leading cause of weather related fatalities in
the U.S (behind heat). On average, flooding claims the lives of
nearly 90 people each year. Most of these deaths occur in motor
vehicles when people attempt to drive through flooded roadways.
Tragically, two such vehicle-related flood fatalities occurred in
northern New York during the passage of Tropical Storm Irene. Many
other lives are lost when people walk into flood waters. This
happens because people underestimate the force and power of water,
especially when it is moving. The good news is most flooding deaths
are preventable with the right knowledge.
Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock over an adult. Only
eighteen inches of flowing water can carry away most vehicles,
including large SUVs. It is impossible to tell the exact depth of
the water covering a roadway or the condition of the road below the
water. This is especially true at night when your vision is more
limited. It is never safe to drive or walk through flood waters.
The science behind a vehicle being swept away involves two factors:
lateral forces of the flowing water pushing against the vehicle, and
buoyancy of the vehicle in water.
Water flowing at 6 to 12 mph will push against a medium sized car or
SUV with 500 to 700 pounds of force for each foot the water rises.
As the speed of the water increases, the force exerted grows
exponentially. Rising water will also make your vehicle buoyant. A
foot of water will impart 1500 pounds of lift on an average sized
vehicle. In effect you car will weigh 1500 pounds less. The
combination of buoyancy and lateral force of the water makes driving
even an SUV into a flooded road a risky, life threatening
The other consideration is the road itself. Even if you think the
water is very shallow, the road may no longer be there. Rapidly
flowing water can scour a roadbed away, and leave a weakened road
surface or a large hole that could easily swallow a vehicle.
Any time you come to a flooded road, walkway, or path, follow this
simple rule: Turn Around Don`t Drown.