Sedgwick County Emergency Management Warns Citizens of Ongoing Flooding Risk
(Sedgwick County, Kan.) – Due to the recent weather, Sedgwick County Emergency Management wants to remind citizens of the ongoing flooding that will continue through tomorrow afternoon, Thursday, June 2. Tuesday night, 911 and first responders dealt with over 60 calls for help from people who had driven into high water and became stuck; this puts an incredible strain on resources.
Flooding kills more people than any other severe weather-related hazard. Most deaths associated with floods occur either at night or when people become trapped in automobiles that stall while driving in areas that are flooded. Most cars will float (and be swept away) in 18-24 inches of moving water. Trucks and SUVs are not much better with only 6-12 more inches of clearance. Creeks and rivers can rise very rapidly and the road bottom can also wash away making the water much deeper than it appears. Once cars are swept downstream they will often roll to one side or perhaps flip over entirely. The driver has a few precious seconds to escape the vehicle. In fact, many drivers panic as soon as the vehicle submerges and are found later with their seat belt intact.
Sedgwick County Emergency Management strongly discourages motorists from driving into flooded roadways. Whether a water-covered road is closed with barricades or not, Turn Around, Don't Drown!
The National Weather Service will issue a Flood Watch / Flash Flood Watch when conditions are detected that could result in flooding/flash flooding of a certain area. Persons in the watch area are advised to keep informed and be ready to take action if a warning is issued or flooding is observed. A River Flood Warning, or a Flash Flood Warning will be issued when flooding/flash flooding is imminent in a specific location. Persons in the warned areas are advised to take precautions immediately.
Things to remember when it comes to flooding:
- Do not drive through flooded areas especially at night when it is harder to gauge water depth. Consider the possibility that the roadway may have collapsed due to erosion. (You won't be able to tell if the road is covered by water. You also might drive into a washout.)
- If your vehicle stalls due to water, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground. Rapidly rising water may sweep the vehicle and its occupants away.
- Be familiar with the surrounding land features and be prepared to head for higher ground if necessary.
- Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio and local radio and television for the latest statements, watches and warnings concerning heavy rain and flash flooding.
You can find a list of Emergency Road Closures and other updates during emergencies at https://www.sedgwickcounty.org/emergency-management/during-emergencies/.