Heavy downpours, prolonged rainfall and blocked or overwhelmed drainage systems can all contribute to the flooding of roads. Flooding can hit fast and cover large areas with water quickly, causing disruption to travel and possibly danger to life.
This blog has been written by a member of the Newground Flood Team.
Paving over urban areas has severely restricted the grounds ability to drain rain water sufficiently, and combined with the limited capacity of sewers and drainage systems, it can mean surface water runoff has nowhere else to go. This leads to standing water on small lanes, roads and motorways which may remain in place for several hours before it can slowly drain away.
Ideally you should not attempt to drive if the roads are flooded. Instead, you should move your vehicle to higher ground to avoid any damage when it is safe to do so – this may be when a weather warning or flood warning has been issued.
If you feel that driving is unavoidable in severe weather conditions or if you are perhaps caught in heavy downpours and flash flooding, consider these points:
Regional news bulletins will provide information about road closures and localised flooding. The Met Office will have live weather forecasts for the area and the Environment Agency’s flood alerts and warnings may be issued.
Is it possible to delay the journey or take an alternative route to avoid the flooded area? Keep in mind that you may also need to account for extra journey time for slower speeds.
If the depth of water is sufficient to allow water to enter the engine this may cause catastrophic damage and lead to hefty repair bills. It is advised that motorists do not enter flood water that is moving or more than 10cm (4 inches) deep.
3-4 mph is recommended by Green Flag!
Have some consideration for other road users and pedestrians. Drive at low speed to avoid or reduce bow waves, as these can flood other vehicles and cause greater amounts of water to enter properties, adding to flood damage. Driving at a lower speed also reduces the potential danger of floodwater to pedestrians as it may be contaminated or contain debris that could cause harm. Leave more space than usual between you and the car in front to reduce the chance of an accident, as stopping distances are increased in wet conditions.
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Sources: RAC, Green Flag SMART DRIVING, AA