Staying safe when caught on flooded streets


Thursday’s storm unleashed heavy rain over southeast Las Vegas causing US 95 to close near Wagonwheel due to flooding.

It quickly created a dangerous situation for drivers. Drivers found themselves caught on the freeway with no where to go.

Clark County Regional Flood Control District says many drivers don’t realize how dangerous even a small amount of water can be.

“It’s basically advised that anytime the water reaches six inches, you can’t see what’s under it, don’t drive through it. Particularly, when we have a lot of heavy rain in a short amount of time,” said Erin Neff, Clark County Regional Flood Control District.

NDOT says just 12 inches of rushing water can carry away a small car, while two feet can sweep away larger vehicles like trucks and SUVs.

It’s also recommended drivers double the braking distance and keep cars in good working order to avoid problems. It only takes a half-foot of water can disable the electricity in your vehicle.

“Make you lose power and then you’ve got no power steering and your car,” Neff said. “You can’t steer it and you’re going to crash.” 

And county officials say the dangers don’t end on the roadways.

“We don’t want anyone near our washes or channels, the water in those channels can move up to 30 miles-per-hour, it can get seven or eight feet deep. If you’re anywhere near there, you’re going to die,” Neff said.

If you do get stuck in flood water, NDOT recommends, it’s usually best to wait in the car and call for help rather than try to get out because the water can be contaminated.

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